Helsingborg & High Water 

My ancestors went blind drinking 

from radiators & distilling their furniture. 

Their gifts smell of ether

& iron. Their blessings

turn & rust. 

 

My Punnett square is chain-linked. My affliction 

is a family heirloom that looked garish 

in every room. With left hands & blue eyes, 

I have learned of recession. 

 

I have wondered how long it would take 

to distill my bedroom sets. I have wondered

how many stones my heart weighs, how 

much of me was carbon. I have wondered

of my dog, now blind and in Lismore, and if he

remembers me still.

 

My bones are Belfast, my lungs are Dresden. 

My tongue is Glasgow, my eyes are 

Birkenau. Trauma is a lineage that 

does not disinherit. Relief

was a coffin ship that never

made it to port. 

 

I have prayed for hands big enough 

to float me across the North Sea. I have prayed 

for fealty, lucidity, sanctum. I have prayed 

for vertebrae like braille that read 

“have mercy.” 

 

The Silver City sleeps tonight,

still across the Atlantic—but mercy, 

as it were, has been

granted.

Cierra Lowe is a poet and half-assed artist living in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Webster University with a BA in philosophy, and her poems have been featured in Bad Jacket, Bellerive, and Sheila-Na-Gig. She published her first full-length collection of poetry and prose, The Horse and the Water, in 2017, and is currently working on her second as she pursues her BSN at UMSL. You can find new poems and other ramblings on her website, www.cierralovesyou.com.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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