Poetry from Cheryl Snell


A doubt rose up from under our bed
Because I was not optimistic enough.
Come through I said as I opened the
Door, but Doubt thought I was faking it.
Enough of disappearing into places with
Feathers. It was a narrow time and I was
Going anyway. Bodies in motion ─ according to
High school physics─ tend to stay in motion. 
I remember the test. I think my brothers took it too.
Just listen─ I can still hear them laughing,
Knocking the knowledge into my head.
Last night, their voices sang to me again
Music all off-key and brittle, each eighth
Note a flap of wings vibrating
On a branch heavy with nests, and
Perched where the flock lined up their
Queue of pitches (the Q followed by silences).
Resisting all dream interpretations,
Suspicious of them at the best of
Times, I turn my attention back to you,
Understanding you’ve already lost interest,
Valentine, in my nervous ups and downs.
While I swallow the bottle marked
Xanax to keep my smile in place for you,
You pull at my wings until I’m ready to soar,
Zigzagging into a future without you.


And by brick I mean what happened to my phone when I dropped it.

And by what happened I mean tears I shed, apologies I made to the inanimate object I had made even more dead.

And by inanimate object I mean the transformation the apps made into fooling me that my whole life was in that phone.

And by transformation I mean the way I’d merged with the heads-down crowd, only raising eyes to aim at disasters needing proof.

And by disasters needing proof I mean the way water enters brick and wrecks it, dissolving everything back to clay.

Cheryl Snell’s books include several poetry collections and the novels of her Bombay Trilogy, but her most recent writing has appeared in 100 Word Story, Ink Sweat & Tears, Pure Slush, and other journals. A classical pianist, she lives in Maryland with her husband, a mathematical engineer.

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