that bracelets ankles, fuses thigh
to thigh, cuts circulation, blurs the inside
out until each organ, the paired lungs
and dark liver ride heavy as rocks,
fixes the body to the running riverbed.
The shame that dines invisible, haunts the table,
feeds between the related faces turned
to the plates emptying into a month of moons,
and glasses sweating rings into the wood,
leaves the bill facedown.
The shame that drives hands into pockets,
script twitching in dark envelopes,
charges fingers with soft electricity
until each wobbles, spins, seeks, recognizes
like an arrow in flight its target, its kind.
The shame that herds blood to the surface,
heart into unseen stampede, into the relief
of a darkening room that shades, fades the blade-
thick difference in silhouette
shaping the dog from the wolf.
Maggie Queeney’s poetry chapbook settler was named the winner of the 2017 Baltic Writing Residency Poetry Chapbook Contest and is forthcoming from Rabbit Catastrophe Press. Her recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Poetry Northwest, TYPO, NightBlock, Copper Nickel, and Southern Poetry Review, among other journals.
More from Vol. 34, Issue 4
Anna Akhmatova, trans. Donald Mager