by Colleen Abel
There is nothing beautiful about bodies,
their moaning, their blood. Now those, there:
the ringed planet, the moon’s sunken mouths,
that is a different story. Someday, you’ll come
to know the equation’s precision, the circle’s arc,
the perfection of immutable numbers.
Someday, you’ll turn your eyes away
from the place you’ve laid me, martyr
of the closed mouth, from where you’ve skinned
me to ribbons with a thousand shards of oyster shell,
urged on by some kind of god. You have tried.
You will never unpearl me.
Colleen Abel’s poems have appeared in The Southern Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review, Salamander, Southern California Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and many others, as well as in The Book of Irish American Poetry: from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she is also a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the KHN Center for the Arts, and holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.