Chapter 16
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“A Letter”

Book Excerpt: Swallow

A Letter

Mother, he is a gentleman.
He is a builder with bricks of moonlight.
He knows the secret places of the earth.
He washes the sleep from the eyes of the souls.
He lets me tell him I hate him.
In the mornings, I gather berries and apples.
I scrub his back with rind,
spider-spit, and eyelash.
He talks in his sleep pudding, fire, disc,
the things he misses.
He breathes, Your body is my orchard.
I am the undulating grass,
a field of wheat he parts with his fingers.
Poppies bloom in my veins.
When he kisses me, he tastes grenadine.
The night crawls nearer.
The moans of the dead roll and swell.
Mother, we are well.

“A Letter”

Copyright (c) 2019 by Tara Mae Mulroy. All rights reserved. Tara Mae Mulroy is the author of the full-length poetry collection Swallow and the chapbook Philomela. A graduate of the M.F.A. program in poetry at the University of Memphis, she currently manages Nightjar Review, freelances, and teaches Latin.