His flesh is multiplying like the stars of heaven,
her hips cleaved open, the silt bed receives.
On crazed currents of the sea where I was born,
my shell rose, strung from silence, fathoms deep.
Swirl of copper, nickel, iron, cobalt
and always the blood-jeweled teeth threatening
to clip my tale short, I swam towards light: surface.
I have no theory of radiance or kings,
Daughter, only remember always to make
a joyful sound. And loud. Your beauty’s ring
surrounds this sinking sun; it is done. Take
these totems, your nautical wand. I’m falling
fast, lost to shadow, green sleep, the dreaming mist...
...then Lexias Pardalis slapped my wrist
Michelle Bittingís third collection is The Couple Who Fell to Earth named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016. She has recently published poems in The American Poetry Review, Narrative, The New York Times, Vinyl Poetry, Plume, Diode, the Paris-American, Raleigh Review, AJP, Verdad, Fjords and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes, and most recently, The Pablo Neruda, American Literary Review and Tupelo Quarterly Poetry contests. www.michellebitting.com