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  • Writer's picturetheperiwinklepelic

headstone - simone astrid

on theresa dolezal feldwert

the midwife weeps when she

cannot save her own son.

swelling of the brain, doctors tell her,

simplified necrology.

she remembers his frail fingers,

counting out pills like alley taws,

recalls the stiffness in his neck.

black flakes dot the teeth

that she bares, snarling at her neighbors.

her husband no longer leaves

the house, stares

at her son’s tree stump in the yard.

the crops rot and the livestock

dies and she did not kill them

but still she flees.

chased by cornfields and

haunted by husbands,

she gags at the taste

of grief on her lips.

visions of former vie

boheme tell her to run,

but she must return,

nomad no longer,

to an empty homestead.

angels follow her and wrap

wings around her throat

so she plans the family grave,

picks a plot and prays

over rosary peas.

chicago copper, she asks,

will it discolor?

when it storms the night she dies,

and she is batty-fang in her coffin,

and she is too unholy for theophany,

the town buries her facing west.


Simone Astrid is a Florida-born poet living in Chicago and writing whatever comes to mind. Twitter: @simoneapoetry.

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