XIV/IV/MMXVI | Maureen Alsop

XIV/IV/MMXVI | Maureen Alsop

She never talked about the accident, but this was a lie she presented as apology. What she saw crawling crawled itself back: A moth’s alacrity against dull headlight, a cold
assemblage—not chrome but a residue where lung-light filled the glass.

At the hospital they thought her tender. As when a soldier’s victory seeds new seductions and one can rename the unnamed horse half-buried in the eastward field.

That morning her shadow walked past and sat at your breakfast table, and the scent of your pipe primed the typing-desk’s every drawer. Only parchment could answer. Unconvinced she followed you through heath to find herself heal. Until your sputtering went underground and her lung’s moss archways bricked the forest floor –you held her alone hand, a faded lupine, your pearlweed lips grazed bloodwood fingertips, her torso spelled a new boundary. Scat in the snow grove. As it happens. As the hour’s total heat is a frailty—at which point winter-tracks, pines, the reply of bells are a stochastic system, the latest foreground, aqueducts numbed outline.

You cursed her and you cursed her. Yourself cursed self.


Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of Later, Knives & Trees; Mirror Inside Coffin; Mantic; Apparition Wren; and several chapbooks. She is the winner of the Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award through the Hawaii Council for the Humanities, Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The Bitter Oleander’s Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prize on six occasions. Her poems have appeared in various journals including The Laurel Review, AGNI, Blackbird, Tampa Review, Action Yes, Drunken Boat, and The Kenyon Review. Collaborative poems with poet, Joshua Gottlieb Miller have recently appeared on Verse Daily. Her translations of the poetry of Juana de Ibarbourou (Uruguay, 1892-1979) and Mario Domínguez Parra are available through Poetry Salzburg Review. She teaches online with the Poetry Barn.