Issue 3


mothersea, there are things unbearable
the smudge of dusk, rotten
with the pale wreckage of drowsy neptune

my throat is filled
with the songs of nightbirds

memories of thistledown, wolf-skin
the masks of my old lives

I bear
the otherness of night

dark-leaved oak trees
latched to the gate of the
unmendable spirit

I have taken from you,
as you have taken from me

the hands, the sea, the empty eyes
of beasts

I must look until I find you,
animal I am

I name the crows my cousin,
the forests of the mother’s body
my fur

dark swamp, witch-eye
I have loved nothing more

and I think to myself,
do I not want to be better?
do I not want to be good?

I bring to the fields
by your shore
the violets of my sentiment,

herbs thieved
from distant mountains:

motherwort, lady’s mantle,
lilies dyed black by ink’s

the moths have left me,
the shards of truth have been
shattered, replaced with illusion,
charged with the need to defend
the heart

and hurt those against it

I carve my name into blue distance,

with such a need to be known
I burden,
and birth none


body of water, body lawless in
sentiment, and longing

only these certainties are left:
loss, bloodlaw, the promise of meat

the self withdrawing

I wear more allegory than flesh,
the mouth becomes an elegy
of echoes

the possession of memory past
many seas, dark trees, bright wheat

it buries what is holy,
forgive me

Eleanor Gray is co-founder and editor of Figroot Press, and has had poems published in Bird’s ThumbHypertrophicLit CatArLiJoMangroveRose RedSeen & Heard Journal, and Cosmographia.