a song for my winter blues
Footsteps pinked like October leaves.
Pillow deep, chords soft as dead wood
wash all over me, too heavy to leave
my body behind for good.
Beg for something from that blue
heaving, lifting with my lungs
or my legs. Some kind of star, or blue
clicks of guitar, peels me. Wrung
I become a whistling pot
burning steam and cups of tea
to fill the sink. Why this urge
to sink my fingers in a red rolling
boil, why this ache to submerge
a body in miles of river
spoken for now, papered with ice.
I miss dizzy. Geese
form such perfect
V’s. Something about a storm.
Madeline Freedman is entering her senior year at Macalester College, where she’s studying creative writing and data science. She currently divides her time between her copyediting internship and writing escapist fantasies. Originally from upstate New York, her hobbies include hiking, baking, and feminist embroidery. This is her first published work.
[excerpt from It is not my hand, it is not my mouth]
That time again when nothing
stops the body from turning inside out. The teeth
in the stomach grind and grind,
the waxed moon bloats.
drinks black milk, swallows nails
thirsting after iron, obsesses
on phosphorous, magnetite, kermes,
transfusions of quicksilver and lead. By now
it must be magnetic, and yes
I am attracted to screwdrivers
and chain link fences, the burr
of cold metal on the skin.
So the blood comes. So the scarlet
alchemic stone is wrung
from the cone of the volcano.
What should have healed and dried up
trickles around the dam, spurts, and floods.
Sometime—not now—when the earth
no longer needs blood sacrifice,
the iron goddess beaten into gold
dropping her pups kits calves colts kids
two by two from the leaky ark
have learned to comfort myself
wrapped in a simple woman’s body,
then the baby will come
head first and howling
out of the flood.
Janet MacFadyen is the author of five poetry books, most recently a photo-poetry collaboration Adrift in the House of Rocks (New Feral Press 2019). When she's not writing about rocks, she's writing about hunger, dirt, the body, dreamscapes, and power. She was a writing fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and is the managing editor of Slate Roof Press. You can find her at www.slateroofpress.com or on Facebook