At once I am slack-jawed and suckling,
soft-toothed and dumb-tongued, gnawing at nothing.
I draw liquid protein through a plastic straw,
sick of my own sounds in a house with no days.
My mother ransacks the kitchen of still-good boxes and bags,
stacks cans on the countertops, steals away every stale thing,
and I open the refrigerator door just to stand
in the bleached-blue, brilliant, annihilating light.
Shannon Sankey is the author of We Ran Rapturous (The Atlas Review, forthcoming 2019). Her poems have appeared at Poets.org, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, the minnesota review, Puerto del Sol, Sugar House Review, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2017 Academy of American Poets Prize and a 2019 SAFTA residency. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, where she was the Whitford Fellow. She is the founder of Stranded Oak Press. www.shannonsankey.com / @shansankey
Natalie Giarratano is the author of Big Thicket Blues (Sundress Publications, 2017) and Leaving Clean, winner of the 2013 Liam Rector First Book Prize in Poetry (Briery Creek Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, Tinderbox, and American Literary Review, among others. She edits and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her partner and daughter and is the city’s poet laureate. Twitter handle is @shansankey