by Rachel Mehl

 Title from “Sheep In The Fog” by Sylvia Plath

All morning I’ve been listening to Jeff Buckley sing “Hallelujah”
while the sky yellows with smoke.
My daughter’s been sad,
though she can’t say why.
Breakfast’s empty bowls and torn bread are still on the table.

The sun is red. The dog’s water is low.
If I were a smoker, I’d light a cigarette
and blow my own clouds towards
the two deflated birthday balloons
that float above our kitchen table.

Oh Jeff, oh Sylivia, sweet Scorpios dead at 30,
I’m too old to gas myself or go swimming with my boots on,
but even the heart
I painted
on my daughter’s cheek
looks like a rash.


RACHEL MEHL lives in Bellingham, WA and has an MFA from the University of Oregon.  She has published poems on Alaska Quarterly Review, Portland Review, and Raintown Review, among others.


Photo: “Balloons” by Amber Kost