Nancy Hightower

Hostile Environment

I grow thick with jungle stalks,
daughter cysts made of hair, teeth,
and bone, barren monsters demanding
a mother they can call home
while every month, a flood,
punishment for not following
Eve’s advice regarding serpents
and untasted fruit, though these demons,
according to doctors, are benign,
multiplying like an unwanted miracle.

Nancy Hightower has been published in Longleaf Review, Entropy, Sundog Lit, Barren Magazine, and Drunk Monkeys, among others. Her first collection of poetry, The Acolyte, was published in 2015 by Port Yonder Press and was a finalist for the Elgin Award Book of the Year. Her story “Medusa Gets a Girlfriend” was chosen for Wigleaf’s Top 50 in 2017. In 2018, she was granted a micro-residency at the Strand Bookstore by The Poetry Society of New York as part of their joint Poet-A-Day Project. She currently teaches at Hunter College.

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Spring 2021