the slate seashell of my skull
spirals into self, socket to hip,
head to holy mothers dead
before they were touched by men.
a eulogy of studied pirouettes,
tornadoes flicker just past where my eyes
can no longer strain to see, trainsounds
from the years when to howl was in grief,
not this sob alien to all confession
or absolution, not this shake
from the center of the heartbone.
i will peel back the nacre of goddesses
to find the ripe of grey
before this hymn is done.
i am not afraid of whalesong or whitenoise.
they will autopsy me and find me a daughter
to tempests, no blood, lips like wet snails
smashed in the plumdark well of waves
where wishes go to bide their time,
rapt and terrible.
mary was a myth, a muted sea.
a funnel cloud turning back into the salty
milk of a foregone contusion.
Sarah Catherine is a writer from
Michigan who has previously appeared in Stirring. She can be reached at