Still Life


Girl with funhouse mirrors
tacked above her bed,

a row of goldfish on her desk.

Girl with a bathrobe the same

pale green as her soap dish

slipping brass knuckles into her jeans.

Girl with dirt, Girl with a fake
diamond ring for a knife.

Girl with a supervising angel

made from faulty suspension wire.
Girl with a sequined top in a blank
field under an empty barn,

its swinging shutters a soft
peeling red. Girl with a fading
heart and an eraser rubbing it out,

and a score of locals calling off
dogs, on a night in which

the dogs stood silent beside

the half-dug pit. Girl with a girl
inside her, stepping from her
ribcage, severing the silver

cord between body and earth.
The girl from the girl’s body
watches nineteen candles huffed out

at the speed of light. Sees
below where yellow tape waves
in imaginary breeze, as land

tills itself to blanket the aftermath
of a life now covered

with hope and dawn

by a thief in the sky who let this
happen, by a bell-ringer on earth
whom she never heard

coming, who heard her first,

and left her silent, hoping that she
would never be found.


Photo: 19 candles by Matt Grandy

About Author

Poet and lyrical essayist Maria Nazos is the author of A Hymn That Meanders, published by Wising Up Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, New Ohio Review, The Southern Humanities Review, Poet Lore, The Sycamore Review, and elsewhere. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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