The Daughter of Coroneus Tries to Drown Her Woes
as i tip another finger of sorrow into the drinking jar
and begin to shake with my body’s knowledge ::
the press of his will against mine, what was
denied me—: your disbelief another violence,
his lies, the curve of your eyelid slit against my
testimony—: i swill my sorrow again, burning
down my throat like swallowed pride, the clunk
of its glass against the counter yet another sunk cost ;
your belly grows round and taut with hypocrisy—:
you, apotheosis of my folly—: the air humming
with a song of lost years, the ground bending beneath
my unsteady feet :: pin feathers burst from my arms
as i totter, elongating in time-lapse fastness to quills
glossy and black—: the room sprouts roots, the walls
fall away—: i take off, feet clutching the empty glass,
my warning call wasted on empty forest—
Michaela Mayer is a 26-year-old teacher and poet from Virginia. Her works have previously appeared in Claw & Blossom, Feral Poetry, Barren Magazine, Perhappened, and others. She has forthcoming poems with Olit, Monstering Mag, Susurrus, MAYDAY Mag, and The Lickety~Split and can be found on Twitter @mswannmayer5.
Years of art classes meant stacks of self-portraits—
staring, memorizing every freckle, scar and nostril
hair, documenting asymmetry in gouache and
graphite. In the 1990s I plucked my eyebrows
to near oblivion, 30’s film vamp style, uprooting
the Brooke Shields shrubbery of youth.
This is what was done then, in the nook of my world—
the way the milliners’ cravings for stilled
beauty nearly decimated songbird populations
by 1900. Later I allowed my brows to re-grow in
proportions that made sense for the topography
of my face, the fat, fertile shape I needed
in the flowered July of life, the gift of pinfeathers.
By forty, brow hairs began to vanish, unreplenished,
as though follicles had given all they had,
now held open the empty pantry, said
to those waiting, hungry, there simply is no more.
I pencil-in sparse paleness like spring road
crews patching potholes with fresh glinting asphalt.
Where is the lush weediness of girlhood? The
obliviousness of downy leg hair and stink of an
afternoon running in backyard grass?
I regret past plucks like being hungover,
recalling just which whiskey it was set me over.