Rachel Contreni Flynn
THE VIOLET ROOM
Small bird in the rafters.
Book buried in the hay bales.
Harness rotting at the door.
The days after my daughter’s birth
I spent reading Hemingway in bed.
Black flies roosted at the screens
and the afternoons were bright: silence
blasted in and I held still in the violet room
at the edge of town. If there was damage,
I curled away from it. If there were words,
I buried them. My flesh was sheepskin,
in the service of another. Night came
as crying, quiet as breath. I quit the book
when the old man failed to cut down
the stars with his capable hands.
—from Rattle #23, Summer 2005
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