Rebecca Griswold is an emerging poet and novelist out of Cincinnati, Ohio (USA).
The poems below are taken from her debut collection of poems, The Attic
Bedroom, is forthcoming with Milk & Cake Press. Her poems have appeared in
Revolute, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Connecticut River Review, Coalesce and
Mock Turtle. Rebecca holds a BS from University of Cincinnati, and she owns
and operates White Whale Tattoo alongside her husband. .
Stopping by Chatham
After Robert Frost
The cold blew through Cincinnati
bringing snowflakes earthward
settling against ground
after a cosmic pillow fight.
Rime ice coats the bare trees.
The city, like a Christmas village
up on a mantle, cotton-snow covered
as chimneys exhale into the night
above dusted evergreen boughs.
The houses on Chatham and Hemlock
look miniature, all gingerbread
or cardboard, defanged
dioramas made just for me.
With the flick of a lighter,
I could burn it all down.
All Saints Day
is a pumpkin rotted through,
a sad sunken face, backlit
with bits of mold.
A skeleton suit lays crumpled
on the floor, foam bones
sewn to black spandex.
The cat opens the cabinets
while we sleep,
This year nothing
can scare me.
May we let loose our wild ghosts,
linen sheets whisked by wind, amen.
May we dance in circles,
split logs, light fires, amen.
How old does a woman have to be
to cut her teeth on the truth?
The moon is far away,
but I can squeeze a drop of milk from her.
Eight years later, I'm still suckling
anger's breast, woundbound,
never satisfied. When you walk
through the haunted house
a second time, you know
when the ghouls will jump out.
I have no words left
for the way things could have been,
only unholy guesses.
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