Something Other than Air

by Gina Ferrara

Edible fruit of welcome,
succulent and nearly crystallized,
I cannot eat your golden pulp
nor touch your headdress
of dramatic leaves.

You grow beneath
the low cloud of leprosy
that grazes everything here
and hovers dark rimmed
absent of a silver lining.

My hands remain gloved.
I lift my skirt–
hem and seam binding exposed,
hands covered to turn doorknobs
and latch the shutters.

With something other than air,
my fear inflates and fills the epic.
Come to my home.
Scrub your hands layer after layer
with lye and ash until blood appears
abrupt as any interjection.

 

Gina Ferrara lives in New Orleans.  Finishing Line Press published two of her chapbooks, The Size of Sparrows in 2006 and Carville:  Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern, in June of 2014.  Her first full length collection, Ethereal Avalanche, was published by Trembling Pillow Press in 2009, followed by Amber Porch Light published by CW Books in October 2013.  She directs a monthly reading series called the Poetry Buffet and she is a guest artist for the Low Residency MFA Program at the University of New Orleans.  She has poems forthcoming in The New Laurel Review and Louisiana Literature

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