My Daughter Asks Me If My Husband & I Will Divorce Because Patti & Hannah’s Parents No Longer Live Together

And yet, she wouldn’t have dreamed the colors—
crimson & black—a fire guttering;

storm cell building to thunderstorm, or the texture
of heavy gray wool. I take her arms

in mine, soft body, strong grip
& as I hold her, I feel her breathing

sync with mine, sweep her up with my wings—
(Better the warmth of sunlight, taste

of strawberries, song of stars, hummingbird’s throat,
fire, marriage.) Between fear & ourselves;

between ice-laden images
of divorce & love—

I tell her marriage is a slurp
of endless, eternally ripe strawberries

unspoiled to heat & it silences the worry
slipping from her tongue.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley, where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, including Wayward Lines (RAW ArT PRESS, 2015), the chapbooks Forgetting Aesop (Bandini Books, LLC, 2011), Naked Animal (Flutter Press, 2012), My Father Had a Daughter (Alabaster Leaves Publishing, 2013), Hatched from Bone (Flutter Press, 2014), On Coming of Age and Stitches (Origami Poems Project, 2014), On This and That (Bitterzoet Press, 2015), Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Beautiful Wreckage (Flutter Press, 2015), Unsent (Origami Poems Project, 2015), The Peace of Wild Things (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Knee Deep in Bone (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015), Birds Never Sing in Caves (dancing girl press, 2016), Cutting Eyes from Ghosts (Blood Pudding Press, 2017), Scars Are Memories Bleeding Through (Yavanika Press, 2018), A Bridge of You (Origami Poems Project, 2019), and Even the Statue Weeps (dancing girl press, forthcoming 2019). She is also the author of three crime novellas, a novelette, and an experimental memoir. She hopes you’ll fall in love with her words.

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