Emily Denton, Placater With Beets, 2018

Give me a few bees in the throat and a small blue bowl for  mandarin oranges.  Bring me a pair of
lemon-yellow  panties,  a waterweed crown.  Tomorrow I’ll hang my bathrobe on the wooden peg
and cruise whistle-clean through my book of transformations:             goatweed             glassywing
one-ply milk money                    cabbage rose                   crocosmia                   moon-marked skipper
elderberry dart.                 Let the saint on the back porch roam.  I thought my faith was a dark blue
dress with silver threads.  I thought the valley was everywhere.  This hot night makes me keep my
window  open.  This is an invisible gift  beating its soft wings,  a small kingdom dripping from  my
ribs. If you told me once, I didn’t believe it. This is mercy, singing like a spring lamb to its mother.
Mercy, the way I smash bugs against my body to kill them.


Megan Denton Ray