Birth: radial. Becoming a starfish
growing a spine. Center of a mirror,
tarantella, this line of fire, this
tambourine tearing through. My insides: pain
like a double-handled saw bisecting
my lower back, bringing me back into
rocking. Then rhombic crystallization
of garnet. Gravity. Pressure, torch, or
arroyo (rain-filled promise). Whirligig.
Yaw. Ship carrying pearl ash purified
by kiln, this sea change, this delighting in
red skies, in freight. Glacial channel. Maw of
sliced open nacelle, loved layabout. This
calm, this room, this ohm, this not like being
held together by anything other
than gravity: fatigue song. Percussive.
Train headed into watercourse. Double-
sided psalm. Familiar mastery. Sway.
Turn. My breath fogging the glass
as a distant linnet gathers knotgrass
by the sea, to weave, to build a nest of
salt, of thistledown, to house the hunger
that will feed on flax, tiny seed from which
linen is made, starred cloth we wrap you in.
Alicia Rebecca Myers is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, The American Literary Review, Gulf Coast, jubilat, The Carolina Quarterly, The Fairy Tale Review, and Day One. In February of 2014, she was awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City. A graduate of NYU’s MFA Program, she currently teaches at Wells College. You can find her online at aliciarebeccamyers.com.
Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, CÃ¦sura, Chariton Review, Redivider, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is currently Assistant Poetry Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers and a poetry editor for Four Ties Lit Review. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.