Waking Poem

There is one image of our heads together and I cut them off in the morning,
dragging our severed gaping mouths behind me. I start writing my notes in blood
and I want to stop writing these poems. I can’t tell where the metaphor ends
when I wake and still hear the birds. I am tired of writing about birds. I’ve said
all their names but they still ask me for things. When I sleep I can understand in
one way or another how to please them, and forget by morning. I don’t want to
remember the details. I don’t want their dead young in the garden. I don’t want
the garden. Neither did my mother, but she grew it because she had to. What do
I have to do? I’ll bury our heads in the dirt and wait for spring.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Tossing and Turning.

Rachel Nolan holds a BA in poetry from Hampshire College, edits poetry manuscripts for Green Writers Press, and is managing editor for Millennial Pulp. Their past accomplishments include being a finalist in jubilat’s Make a Chapbook Competition in 2017, as well as being a finalist for Heavy Feather Review’s Zachary Doss Friends in Letters Memorial Fellowship in 2020. Rachel’s work is recently or forthcoming in Duende, HOOT, Beyond Words, Tilde, Trouvaille Review, and Second Chance Lit.

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