The National Poetry Review

Sally Rosen Kindred

SELF-PORTRAIT AT NINETEEN AS BOTTLE OF YELLOW PILLS

Now I’m filled, tall with stars. I hold,
still, to the nightstand, to the glass lip

of night. I wait
to be taken like

the girl lying under
a boy in the blue button-

down shirt. I can’t remember
when I stopped being flesh and became

this brown shine by
her sleeping side, but it’s

better this way—the sun
palms me the same

hour each day and I
am lidded,

clapped tight. No
meadow of bees, warp-songed, drifting.

I love to be raised warm in her hand,
to be turned, once, and spilled, me

from me, and then
the sound of my new body shaken,

the ring and swing of what’s
set right. And how

I know (by feel
or hum) some lit piece

of me, candled between girl’s
and sky’s eye, goes on ahead:

all will be changed
in there, and fierce, lonely,

at the sill
of the sorrow cathedral, I’ll learn

to ride the dark
on in, beyond the teeth.


SALLY ROSEN KINDRED is the author of two poetry books from Mayapple Press, Book of Asters (2014) and No Eden (2011), and three chapbooks, including Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review‘s Poem-of-the-week Web Feature, and Kenyon Review Online.

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