Three Poems By Anna Short

I am the world’s heaviest bony fish.
I am beautiful and useless to you. I am a marvel
of stillness. I am a dazzling ceramic plate
afloat in cold waters. I am pale, squished,
perfect. Bring your grain to me, this body of mine
will be your millstone. Bring me up. I want to see
the sun. Bring me up. I am docile, watch me lounge
at the water’s surface. Touch my bitten skin.
I am so lovely. No, I am not surprised
to see you. My expression is always
a startled thing. I really am glad to see you.
The current brings translucent jellies.
I hope, I hope they will come to me. I will rest now,
a toppled wheel, a swimming head gone still. I hope
to bring you with me one day. Bring you
the sun.

You lying bulb of a wannabe breadroot. You
once-forgotten-name dream that is stony and fibrous,
and anything but delicious. You imposter chestnut.
leeching off your parsley family. Groundnut, hawknut,
kippernut, arnut. Idiot root. You damned neighbor
of a pale yellow tuber and cousin of my friend,
the sweet yam daisy. Harboring a secret wish to be
called true root and sleep under a shivering honeysuckle.
A wish to be picked up by a moon-faced child and be
thought of as a dearest treasure found in the backyard.
To be placed on the kitchen counter or the window sill.
To dry out in the summer sun and sleep away man’s time.
A fool. A pignut with no spotted hoglets looking for it
in the twisting underbrush. Know the wild river garlic
pities you. Know the hidden raspberry bramble wants
you to be washed away in the next rainfall. So, sleep.
Sleep in your acid pasture and dappled woodlands.
Know that you are just an earthnut with no care
for the world around you, blind to the jealousy
of every creature who is not an earthnut.

The cats are fighting on the bed again and I wish
this was a euphemism for some knee-touching strands
of your hair on my body sweating together scene

but no the cats are fighting on my bed again

and when I say fighting I mean they are playing
they are sweet on each which makes me think
of something softer like being in bed and my
head rests against the spot of skin near the crook
of your arm a place that is perfect for me to be
there and in this thought you ask about my mother
and I say she is doing better and you hum a reply
which can only mean that you understand the world
those four words live in and it is a dark one I can
barely keep from spilling out onto the sheets here
but you turn it into a song and even though your
body is too warm with the heat on and these cats
these cats which in this dwindling thought are
sleeping sprawled so quiet for once I do not move
away to curl beside the cool wall to wake up to
yowling and the sound of cats tossing the room
in search of some thought that wishes to be a
memory when already it is so late at night

I will make this a thing that is said at some time later
but tonight I can’t keep the cats from fighting on the bed

Anna Short was born and raised in southeastern Michigan, currently has three cats names Caesar, Eurydice, and Sable, and is a pretty good Dungeon Master for D&D if she says so herself. They received an M.F.A. in creative writing from Bowling Green State University. Their work has been featured in journals such as Fairy Tale Review, Pleiades, Southern Indiana Review, and Honey & Lime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *