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THREE POEMS by Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick

ISADORE—THERE IS A DOOR SOMEWHERE

 

paused in the breath of a thousand

horses where we wait for light

to catch our arms, bodies into nets,

golden sea flecked with ravens’

 

wings. Dear, I want to fly as quick as I can

into a canyon, leap hard into your

eyelids—how they never formed

enough to open—I will wait, still.

 

In this dream we circle you

in prayer and open any body willing

to be demolished in your name.

 

 

 

FRANCINE IMAGINES A JURY OF TWELVE WOMEN AT HER FUNERAL

 

Francine tastes the first words at sunrise, splits the verdict between them: her accuser at one end of the table, her Father at the other. I have guns of forgiveness for both of them, she writes. To Francine, forgiveness is a weapon for the last day she will be alive. To slice the throats of my accusers with kindness, a warm waterlike love washing us slick, she writes, in artichoke blood.

 

 

 

HOW BEGINNINGS ARE MADE

 

How the hay hobbled on

the mule-backs toward ice

caps covered with the unborn

on blankets beneath the one

star, beating-hearth, mother,

her snow watch, warming—

how before-children wanted

to see the one who loved

their bodies until she broke

herself open—how, off course,

mules moved holy hay, making

prints, perfect O’s, hooves

above the tree-line, to feed

the birth-sick their sight, source.

 

 

 

 

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About Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick

Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her manuscript was a finalist for the Levis Prize in poetry and her chapbook was recently released by Thrush Press. She is an associate poetry editor for The Boiler Journal. Her work has appeared in the following: 3:AM Magazine, Night Train, Versal, Sugar House Review, and Devil's Lake,among others.