IN WHICH A CHIHUAHUA VISITS MY DREAM THIRTY YEARS AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE MY ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL
“they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all...”
One day I’m standing at the intersection
telling the sky everything the moon forgot.
Death isn’t on fire, and I’ve got a ten page
paper on the Holy Ghost People, due tomorrow
and I haven’t been to class all semester.
Night before finals I’m dancing, next morning
I’m lying on the pine floor, speaking
to the ceiling, bargaining with heaven above
that I won’t have drunken sex anymore,
any time soon. The universe is one enormous
prayer book I haven’t read yet. To calm myself
I think of the grim reaper as teacup
chihuahua, snake-shaped Christmas ornament
I step on on my way to class. Night before finals
I’m grateful that in twenty-four hours
none of this will be reversible. One day
I’m the teacup of strychnine and the chihuahua
murmurs to the grim reaper, something about faith,
something about failure, and I know I need to study,
but I can no longer argue with the cold hard
floor nor the roof over my head. I’m not even sure
if I passed the intersection already, passed
my classroom, my class, my test, and who needs
snake salvation anyway? I like it right
here, the loose boards groaning beneath
my spine, tiny nail heads like fangs searching
my bones for a way in.
ABOUT THE POET
Poet and photographer Ronda Piszk Broatch is the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations (MoonPath Press, 2015). Ronda was a finalist for the Four Way Books Prize, and her poems have been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. Her publishing credits include Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Sycamore Review, Mid-American Review, Puerto del Sol, Public Radio KUOW’s All Things Considered, among others.
ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.