by Jessica Harkins
The crickets sing in the grass until the noise is deafening. The grass dies and turns white; the tick bush spills its dead leaves and insects. I speak to people who are not here. An evening breeze washes over the poplars and turns the sound of their leaves into a rippling sea that enfolds, lifts, and soothes. In the evenings I pull the splinter from my heart and do not know the difference.
Occasionally my mother opens her soft brown eyes and lets me back in. The details matter or do not matter. The story takes shape around what is not here. What refuses to be named. Something surrenders to the ground like a dying animal. It goes in a few circles first.
[Jessica Harkins (she/her) holds a PhD in medieval literature and an MFA in poetry. She teaches at a small liberal art college in central Minnesota where she lives with her husband and their two sons. Her first book of poems, The Paled Guest, came out from Kelsay Books, and she is currently translating the poems of Andrea De Alberti. Her work can be found in journals such as Copper Kettle, The Adirondack Review, Versodove (Italy), and Stand (UK).]