Mother Always Knows, So
I tell her, my jaw came apart, but first there was the cracking
like strikes and strikes of lightening but there was no light
She asks if I saw blood No, I answer, having to recall
the naked gum line where my teeth like even rows,
flowerless pots cracked and cracked again
She says, it means someone is going to die someone not close to you
blood would signify closeness, she adds and I wonder
how to calculate proximity, the pace of death its touch based on a lack
a reach we cannot hold based on this dream
based on my mother how death can come on fast
a lightening strike, so bright and far away you have to wait to hear it
crack the air wait for it to pin the soul
wait for ground or its jawline for someone’s
toothless grin to shine and fall out of the bloodless sky
This selection comes from Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s chapbook The Bear Who Ate the Stars, available from Split Lip Press. Purchase your copy here!
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated as a Jewish refugee from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in 1993. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is in the University of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Literature Ph.D. program. Julia’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Southern Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Guernica, and Nashville Review, among others journals. Her manuscript, The Bear Who Ate the Stars, won of Split Lip Magazine‘s Uppercut Chapbook Award, and can be purchased from Split Lip Press. Most recently, she won Burlington Book Festival Short Works Writing Contest and Spark: A Creative Anthology’s writing contest. Julia is also the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine. Find out more by visiting her website.
Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.