SARAH ROSE NORDGREN
After her life goes out, she might turn
just the perfect color and link
herself into a strand of hair.
Or, depending on her assignment,
she could lie trampled on the wet
forest floor all winter
until one morning I walk past and
don’t notice she’s decomposed.
She could hold her sisters
above her on a long stalk. Otherwise
she’s consumed by them
and the evidence destroyed. She serves
the faith behind the word.
Speaks a yes or no language, a code
that translates either as die or don’t die
quite yet. She is the best listener
in the world. She composes the world.
The switch flips one way
and she grows out of nowhere, tiny
mass in a larger body. Then
she hears the signal and
switches back off automatically––
A beacon. A TV screen.
Stitched up eye or oyster.
174 The Paris-American
Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Agni, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, and the Best New Poets anthology. A recipient of two fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a 2014 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, Sarah Rose earned degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she held the Fred Chappell Fellowship. She grew up in Durham, NC and currently lives in Cincinnati. For more information visit sarahrosenordgren.com.
Photo Credit: Daniel Dyar
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