I see scattered rivers and think I might belong here to stay. That I belong
to some earth-toned myth, my mouth brimmed
by dirt. It’s the longing I have for the dogs gnawing and panting
along the side of the highway. Somebody who understands
that when I carve my path into the belly of some strange animal, I still
do not mean violence. In one palm I hold all the old haunts and all the old moons.
The other hand flips through psalms until I learn over again to weep.
Picture a life stained by omens then tell me what I mean by a life. There are
the formal kinds of stains that develop like a loss. The stains that grow
over a mother’s linen dress. I want most the mother
breathing by my bedside, forever, who can tell me that when grief
arrives like a red train, it is the church made of trees
that really is the next best thing. I am barefoot and naked in the kitchen
puncturing my stomach to better learn of desire. I don’t mean this. I mean the fish
gasping in open fields. Even then they look like they are prancing with the deer,
flopping underneath stampeding hooves. Sometimes, true, I can’t stand the
on the other side of the door. I want to clutch cheeks flanked by sorrow.
Loisa Fenichell’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square Review, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her chapbook, all these urban fields, was published by nothing to say press, and her debut collection, Wandering in all directions of this earth, is a Tupelo Press 2021 Berkshire Prize finalist. She is the recipient of an award from Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop and an MFA candidate at Columbia University.