This selection, chosen by guest editor Amber Alexander, is from Self-Portrait with Thorns by Gail Goepfert, released by Glass Lyre Press in 2021.
Beneath the Painting
of the Virgen de Dolores
—My Birth, 1932
It is I not my mother who gives birth to me, head fully formed thrust from the womb that fails me. Blood in vain spoils the white sheet beneath me as another veils my head. My spread legs speak of surrender to the Virgin of Sorrows who crowns my bed. I give birth to myself in oil.
Gail Goepfert is an ardent poet, photographer, and teacher. She’s an associate editor of RHINO Poetry and teaches classes online at National Louis University. She is the author of This Hard Business of Living (Seven Kitchens Press, 2021) and Self-Portrait with Thorns (Glass Lyre Press, 2021), as well as other chapbooks and full-length books. Recent poem publications appear in After Hours, The Examined Life Journal, Night Heron Barks, Inflectionist Review, and Rogue Agent. She lives, writes, and snaps photos in the Chicagoland area.
Amber Alexander, who publishes creative work as e. holloway, is a poet based in Ohio. They currently work in higher education and as an Assistant Editor for Best Of The Net within Sundress Publications. Alexander is a former Editorial Intern for Sundress Publications, former Editorial Board Member for Cornfield Review, and was a Sundress Academy for The Arts Writing Resident in 2023. Their work has been published by Cornfield Review and earned multiple awards during undergrad at The Ohio State University.
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