I watched the clock all night for you
And turned myself into a pear
When you failed to arrive.
My mothers and sisters
Are long-lashed goddesses.
They dance all hours in sodden orchards,
Sickle stilettos bearing their weight.
They are zealous: braiding my hair
Into slices of moon,
Baking cakes that calm my nerves,
That guide me to sleepwalk,
Eyes wide in corridors,
Even when the music stops.
They powder my skin silver with mercury.
This they say cures ills of the heart.
I live with the frugal joy
Of those who know how quickly things shift.
You and your tides,
I must turn away,
Suspended from branches.
An orb set apart you’ll see my glow.
[Shannon Cuthbert is a writer and artist living in Brooklyn. Her poems have appeared in Plum Tree Tavern, Bangor Literary Review, and The Oddville Press, among others. Her work is forthcoming in New Feathers Anthology, Hamilton Stone Review, Déraciné Magazine, and Ink Sweat and Tears, among others.]