She slips out of her dress, turns

this way and that, cursing her breasts,

her stomach, her thick thighs.

Her eyes are crushed geraniums, her mouth

a study in sorrow. Hollow girl, full

of echoes. She pushes her food

around her plate, only pretends

to put the spoon to her lips. How

do I tell her that Man’s desire is hunger,

and we are built for famine. I know

she is trying to disappear, to transmute

herself into light. Air. But the girl

is my stock. And her flesh,

that tightly woven basket,

is built to carry the weight

of every harvest moon.


Sarah McKinstry-Brown

Winner of two Nebraska Book Awards, Sarah McKinstry-Brown studied poetry at the University of New Mexico, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Nebraska. She’s been published everywhere from West Virginia’s standardized tests to literary journals such as Rattle, Ruminate, Sugar House Review, The Briar Cliff Review, and The South Dakota Review. Sarah is the founder, curator, and host of feedback at KANEKO, an interactive literary reading series. For more info, go to:

Latest posts by Sarah McKinstry-Brown (see all)