Shapes of Others

After burying shreds of skin
at the base of a laurel a narrative
emerges: slim sequence
of ladies. The bodies of women.
Washed out, their outlines,
marching into a study
of the relationship between foreground
and background / transparencies
a lady must walk through. Lacking
a direction in which to pray /
to eat / then becomes a direction
I can bend into at the curves. Without
skin I have only shadow. Give me
your threads dyed with the bodies
of purple snails. Give me your
prophet / your short dresses in smaller
sizes due to size inflation.
Iím waiting. By
the door. These words taste
familiar, in that other landscape.
In the picture. The weaving
on the wall in the place where
someone else might have put
a window. Opposite the window
that would have shown me
the cherry tree exploded in chips
of pink all over the lawn, like
pats of blush or spilled sacraments
or hair ornaments or candy
thrown for sweetness or examples
of smooth / round / idylls.
Once we were little girls. Once
we were ladies. And once
I was lost and unrecovered except
in the pieces of skin I stored
in a small alabaster basin.


Laura is originally from New Jersey, but currently lives, writes, and feeds her cat in Philadelphia. Laura received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, where she was the poetry editor for Black Warrior Review. Her work is found or forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Quarterly West, The Atlas Review, Sink Review, TYPO, Tarpaulin Sky Magazine, and others. Laura's chapbook, Future Skirt, was released from dancing girl press in the fall of 2013, and her first full-length, The Bone and the Body, was released from BatCat Press in the spring of 2015.