Sara Henry is studying English at the University of Chicago, where she is a senior
editor of Euphony Journal. She won the Foyle Young Poets award in 2010 and her
work has appeared in Word Riot, Magma, and The Chaffey Review, among others.
One may find her winning Foyle poem, "Work Night", on the inside back cover of
John Grisham's Theodore Boone, one of the books distributed for UK and Ireland's
World Book Night 2014.
Parts of My House in Strange Places
The staircase bobbing in the pool,
six ducks nipping at the wood.
Every mirror crushed in the garden,
juniper and sage filling the cracks.
Fifty novels perched on branches,
flapping in the night like crows.
The couch floating above the trees,
translucent and shot through with stars.
Your body in the ground,
thirty dark miles from here.
Vero Beach, Florida
You haunt this shore too,
where I came for different tides,
a new set of night hours.
It's been nine days and I can't
sweat out Connecticut.
Never had a chance, you say,
not in a house that spits flies
and collects lizard corpses.
The bread blue. The plums white.
Your birds followed me here,
thirteen robins hiding in palm trees,
watching me lean over the sea.
I'm still in awe at the violence
of the water, which rends my face
to paint drips on someone else's canvas.
Mine, you say, your laughter
turning the sand cold,
putting another winter in my throat.
In an Emergency
Interrupt the hotel pool with your head,
dropped over the side like a light bulb.
Count to forty-nine and hear the world
snap to a black-and-white photo.
A bee pinned to a daisy, its wings
mid-flap in a shock of pollen.
Your hair spread on the surface
in livid tendrils, collecting leaves.
Drink the clarity for as long as you can,
those hundred panes lit up and cracked.
After seventy seconds, the water will
pass its secrets into you. Among them:
The real names of flowers
and why their colors sting.
How many steps it takes
to reach the center of the ocean.
How many days.
Self-Portrait as a Murder of Crows
They're at your doorstep,
all seventeen of them,
huddled on the mat
like November's punchline.
They've plucked themselves
bald for you, in a blue-eyed hour,
to be cooked in a tray of wine.
Their skin tears in the wind,
the little backs like hearts or rats.
Let them in. They've come
and they know it isn't fair.
They smell the sauce.
In ninety minutes, all that will be
left of them will be on a plate.
No prayer, but plenty of rosemary.
These birds, who once knew
how to fly, will flap in your arms
while the oven grins 360 degrees.
They will sing their old songs
while you turn them to ghosts
in your candlelit mouth.
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