Susan Michele Coronel


The vertebrae in my knotty spine  are linking and singing   knees knocking   old bones
creaking  I’m walking upright to reach the husks   in a corn maze   I crawl out   walk
then like lightning I run   there’s a river to cross   where I bathe   make eyes at the moon
& plead   o deliver me   from the repetition of conformity & the conformity
of repetition   I have a vision   I’m lighting bonfires   smoke under my nails in black
country air   I’m waltzing in a meadow  sinning by omitting   the most important
details   of my life   storing secrets   in bouquets   of Queen Anne’s lace  hiding
my feelings    in silver bottles   that shatter   on a shelf   I don’t recognize myself  
in the mirror   I’m always older or younger   than the reflection   I find a pitchfork
& copper cow bell     when the bell rings    my shins snap   my back breaks under
the weight   of hoofs & heartaches   as a rooster crows   the coming   of the dawn.

Editor’s note: the poem is intended to read as a long-lined single stanza with particular care for the end lines. On a phone, the poem is best viewed in landscape.

Susan Michele Coronel is a New York City-based poet. She has a B.A. in English from Indiana University-Bloomington and an M.S. Ed. in Applied Linguistics from Queens College (City University of New York). She has had poems published in journals including Prometheus Dreaming, Passengers Journal, Newtown Literary, The Ekphrastic Review, California Quarterly, and Street Cake

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Winter 2021