P O E T RY F. J. Bergmann Ascension e Th re’s a bone in the throat that breaks when you’re strangled. That’s how they can tell when someone’s murdered instead of just dead. Dead is easy: no pulse. Not too subtle. You can die from silly things. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke died from being pricked by a rose thorn. Like Sleeping Beauty, sort of. Except permanent. And then you go up and sign in for the wings— and the harp, if that’s what you want. Break from Yellow, Kelli Hoppmann, oil on panel, 2014 She wished it were summer always; not the kind of summer where the air was like breathing a blanket, but where the days always pointed north (dark pines around the lake whose thermocline descended into black ice; a cabin full of fat spiders and an absence of flies). Bright birds flickered through leafy shadows like small hallucinations, specks of floating color winking in and out of sight: bluebirds, goldfinches, indigo buntings. Ribbon-trimmed orange and yellow cushions, soft as feathers, sat on the lawn furniture. All the children believed in giant fish that nibbled toes, strangling weeds, and drowned swimmers at the bottom of
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Apr 10, 2018
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