Stefanie Kirby

What is left when the water recedes? A mouse

pelvis, two floral hips washed onto soil.


When a vine is cut at midday the wound sweats

sap that beads in sunlight. My uterus is a lake


and I place holy Mary patron saint of loss inside

to guard the contents: flesh, blood, decay


quiet as sacrament. In childbirth I expel

her with the afterbirth. I won’t pray


for two months, will watch the moon

cycle in its bloodlessness. Its sandscape


an infertile ground. They wrap Mary’s son

in a shroud and he rises in three days. I wrap


my daughter in yellow knit and she sinks

with sympathy. Drought brings up


shipwrecks like a body emptying itself

of bones. By nightfall those vines will wither.

Stefanie Kirby is a bilingual mother and poet residing along Colorado’s front range. She studied poetry at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and has taught writing to middle and high school students. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Plumwood Mountain, Ethel Zine, and elsewhere.

© Variant Literature Inc 2021