Then I must sleep in a sheet twisted
tight with blood, stomach heavy through the night. Then I know the scream of the ferry. Then “family” a word that stirs and stirs.
What use are doors in this weather? Of course
we hear everything—Father’s moans ghost
through walls like cheesecloth. Here is a day.
Here is another.
There’s nothing to do but eat,
piling one plate then the next, pears
plummeting from the backyard brown as
blood. Father never
talks anymore, and Mrs. Borden
changes in my sleep to someone
who is still alive. We always lock our
rooms. My nightgown the finest terry cloth
or linen. Look at my face, my flushed cheek,
my lips. Look at my tenderness.
If I told you it was an intruder who did it,
would you take my hand in yours
and touch my trembling back?
It was. It was. Oh God, it was.
This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .
Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at zeflisowski.com.
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org
), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com
) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/
) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/
), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb