Give me a few bees in the throat and a small blue bowl for mandarin oranges. Bring me a pair of
lemon-yellow panties, a waterweed crown. Tomorrow I’ll hang my bathrobe on the wooden peg
and cruise whistle-clean through my book of transformations: goatweed glassywing
one-ply milk money cabbage rose crocosmia moon-marked skipper
elderberry dart. Let the saint on the back porch roam. I thought my faith was a dark blue
dress with silver threads. I thought the valley was everywhere. This hot night makes me keep my
window open. This is an invisible gift beating its soft wings, a small kingdom dripping from my
ribs. If you told me once, I didn’t believe it. This is mercy, singing like a spring lamb to its mother.
Mercy, the way I smash bugs against my body to kill them.
Megan Denton Ray, Cattleheart
Photo Emily Denton