Gretchen Mattox
A Basket In Which Fish Are Carried

Do not defend the itinerant speech of the hero,
that boy’s crazy.
Just because he knocks, he thinks the door’s open.
I know shame follows me, shame for shame, soft call in my ear,
repeated offerings of watered-down milk
some insane parting of rose-petals,
why, when the tight fist of new bloom
is so much more becoming.
I sleep in the coil of one made for mourning.
Eyes of fish, dull as alkaline junk,
my hand running through my hair.
When my father calls out, I know not to answer
—as the hair splits, as the road opens to rut—
don’t you see, I turned on myself because I had to.

Found In Volume 30, No. 05
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  • Gretchen Mattox
Gretchen Mattox
About the Author

Gretchen Mattox is the author of Goodnight Architecture (2002) and Buddha Box (2004), a Green Rose Prize winner. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from N.Y.U.