Estonia

Untitled, Lauren Harris

 

I

First, Stalin burned the forests.
Next, planted hemlocks in

mathematical rows so no one
could hide in the woods,

sap running down the legs
of the evergreens.

II

I melt gooseberries into jam,
mosquitoes swarming at my eyes.

The pond is lukewarm, pollen-coated.
A rain of insects and woodsmoke

buries us as you take the spoon from my hands,
already too sugared and dark.

III

In the near Arctic, the moon
rises late— we don’t sleep.

I catch you crying:
the constellations
are different from home—

where is your Carina,
keel of a ship?

IV

We collect milk
from the woman uphill.
Deaf, she hums

at the sink of her cement house.
Her cat births, skin weathers.

We bring her raw honey
from bees in boxes.

V

We never separate,
not even to launder our sheets.

Together,
take our shoes off,

fill tubs in the pond, add
clothing & soap, stomp,

churning suds
barefoot;

water blackens
around our ankles—

 

About the Author

Skye Shirley, Boston College

Skye Shirley majors in English and creative writing at Boston College, where she is currently writing a poetry thesis. She has a soft spot for ancient civilizations and a hunger for mythology. Her poems have been published in StylusLaughing Medusa, and Naked Singularity. “Estonia” was originally published in Stylus.

About the Artist

Lauren Harris, Bennington College

Lauren Harris graduated from Bennington College in 2009 and can be reached at lauren.harris.vt@gmail.com.

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