Jill Mceldowney | Poetry

Paradise Woods

Say there is a ritual that will raise the dead.

I mean danger.
I mean divination—
that is what I am here for.

To begin
I need
……………………………………………………………………a volunteer,
……………………………………………………………………gunpowder, a rope,
……………………………………………………………………and only a mirror

can tell you what the dead are thinking.

I am a woman disguised as prey, cardinal, the bare of teeth. I am
her; the red fox,
tail set on fire
and turned loose in the cherry orchard behind the house

……………………………………………………………………where I once watched a fox and a horse,
……………………………………………………………………both wounded during the hunt,
……………………………………………………………………struggle toward dawn.
……………………………………………………………………It was inevitable.

……………..The horse stood trembling, had caught his leg in a toothed snare intended for the fox,

and she limped
on three legs, smelling of gasoline, a book of matches
between her teeth.

Give
me the illusion of choice.
This is the fire I set myself
on fire—

.
.

Jill Mceldowney is the author of the chapbook Kisses Over Babylon. Her work can also be found in Vinyl, Corium, Ghost Proposal, Fugue and other notable publications.

2018-02-28T17:33:03+00:00

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