by Sara Jeanine Smith

 

I am a carrion bird circling over you:
see my flashing feathers?
I can caw
and caw

I am the vinegar-soaked
sponge, the thorn scratching
your forehead
a field of blood
a scatter of silver

I am a spike through the hand,
sinews parted,
nail plugging the same wound
it ripped open

I too hang

like Judas
I flip and flutter
in the hot wind,
laundry rotting on the line,
bleached so white
I stun your eyes
every fiber of me
shredding, sagging
toward the earth

I hang here

like fruit so ripe
it may split open
before it falls


SARA JEANINE SMITH was born in central Florida and grew up in the Florida panhandle. She is an assistant professor of English at Pensacola State College and the mother of two daughters. Her poems have appeared in Hurricane Review, Weatherbeaten Lit, Dying Dahlia Review, and Mothers Always Write. Her chapbook entitled Queen and Stranger was published by USPOCO Books in 2019.


Featured Image: “Aylesford Priory –  The Rosary Way” by David Joyce