Lucia Galloway

Nothing Left by Marysia Schultz


After the first line of Millay’s Sonnet X,
“Sonnets from an Ungrateful Tree”

She had forgotten how the August night
descends around her brittle, rough-torn edges.
High-definition, lurid dreams—their pledges
nothing less than carnival, than blight.
She knows herself a fugitive from passion,
uneasy at the thought of lovers kissing.
Instead of quarreling, she’ll recoil, fixing
a curse, snake-like, bringing a spiteful season:

—I am September’s burdened tree, befouling
the path. I coax emulous clouds to gather
in the west, their threat of storms’ unspooling.
I roil the tide, send seething spume to lather
spinster isles. Monsoon, Blood Moon concede
their terms. My clouded secret bleeds.

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