Find the cauldron behind the door.
An arm hangs over its lip,
as if the lonely limb could escape.
Floating on the congealed blood,
the skinned faces of your sisters.
Take out those tattered pages.
Ignore the sweet smell of rot,
and plunge your hands in.
Pull out tibias, livers, kidneys,
metacarpals, pelvic bones, thumbs,
ventricles, uteri, a shattered clavicle.
Spread these pieces out.
Don’t rush. Take your time
labeling each piece, reassembling
each woman. Some parts
will never be found.
A leg with iris tattooed
on the ankle is all that’s left.
Sometimes, you’ll find
all the pieces—or enough—
and she’ll sit up and speak.
If she runs, let her.
If she cries, comfort her.
If she rages, let her help
resurrect the dead. Too many
are already lost. Know
that when you leave this room
the scars zigzagging your skin
won’t be enough proof
for the world to believe.
You will have to pass him
on the street, and hope he sees
a strange bird rather than you.
Jennifer Lynn Krohn
Jennifer Lynn Krohn was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she currently lives with her husband. She earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico, and she currently teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College and Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Jennifer has published work in The Saranac Review, Río Grande Review, RED OCHRE LiT, Prick of the Spindle and In the Garden of the Crow.
Artwork: Christian Schloe, “The Secret”