by elizabeth gross

here your brilliant mouth
here your crimson eye.
here your fire is my dawn, this roof my black sewn sky.

my green mouth and my hands, the scabs
of your absence, the healed-over wound,
granular with memories of the stars beneath your sun.

in the blind corridor between night and
morning, you take my hand. my definitions
are shrunken, split infinitives. everything is possible
and nothing happens. each time i open
my eyes there's another one in front
of my hearth, naked with need.

i want a heart. i want a hearth. i
want a child with eyes like the sky
and strong hands. i want to break him
of every foul habit and live full of
peace. i want to break him.

give me memory of my mother's eyes
at sunset and i will give you this
bolt of cloth she wove. the light
failed. her eyes narrowed, tough
and fibrous as the meat of her
heart, dun mud against
the bare and barren rock.

i've listened to the snake
for far too long. oh my lord come back to me.

Elizabeth Gross lives mostly in her head. The rest of the time, she may be found in the great state of West Virginia. It should be noted that she lives nowhere near Richmond. Although she is indeed a Knight of the Golden Horseshoe, she has never insisted that friends, neighbors, or co-workers refer to her as "Sir" or "Lady" anything. In her spare time, Elizabeth gardens, reads (everything), writes (occasionally), cooks, and plays games. In her non-spare time, she works in legal services, where, despite her gender, she regularly gets to play the part of "the man." Figs are her favorite fruit.