as a girl inside a stump. She’s part of something—collecting, absorbing, circulating. She pulls light into her center and swells. She might tell you she feels charged and immense—if she thought in words anymore, if her tongue felt useful. Now, signals are inside. Toes wiggle deep toward a rumor of water and messages pulse from bark and moist new structures along her legs and ribs. Lora’s peered through a Science lens, seen the boxy shapes of plant cells. She has an inkling of what’s happening in her ankles, along her thighs, how blocky cells stack and grow. Essential stalks. She is engaged. She is beloved.
A few young trees nearby are daring euphoric growth. Beneath Lora a web, lacier than the fretwork on her grandfather’s clock, takes up their cause, feeds their undertaking. A nursemaid. New sprouts emerge from her own trunk and she thrills with welling capacity, right down to the tips of the angled twigs she used to call fingers. Her legs are stronger than fence posts. She could stand forever.
is the author of two chapbooks, tesla’s daughter (March St. Press)
and Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press), and a full-length collection
of poems, Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press).
Her work has appeared in Brilliant Corners, Harpur Palate, KYSO Flash, New Flash
Fiction Review, Rattle, Rhino, Slipstream, Smartish Pace, The Atlanta Review, The
MacGuffin, and The Notre Dame Review, among others; and has been
anthologized in several venues, including Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic
Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press, 2017), in plein air:
poems and drawings of the natural world (Poetic Licence Press), The Cento:
A Collection of Collage Poems, and The Dire Elegies: 59 Poets on Endangered