poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

The Drowned Girl

Eve Alexandra
This is a quiet grave. In is not made of myths, of great barbarous fish, of coral, 
or salt. No one submerges himself with metal and rubber, no one shines her 
white light along the floor. Search parties have been suspended. There is no 
treasure buried here. This is the place of what-is-not. Of a green so green those 
flying above it would call it blue. Of a black so black it glows. This is a world 
with its own species of ghosts--plankton drifting inside her, the barnacles nesting 
on her hips, her wrists, their whole beings mouths frozen in horror. Sound 
turned into silence--like cloth on the floor is the shed skin of the lover. Like 
sheets bereft of the shapes that slept. Once upon a time she was all escape--her 
long hair, siren of copper and cinnamon, burning a comet behind her. Her long 
legs that loved heels and short skirts, that craved the hard slap of the city 
beneath her. You would have read this girl. You both wanted more. But she 
doesn’t remember how she got here, in this bed that consumed her. Why she 
can’t put her lipstick on, why one would press color like a promise to the lips. It 
must have begun with red. But the beginning of this story is lost to the water, 
you could rake its bottom of leaves and sticks like tea, you could spear one of its 
last trout and study the slick pages of its intestine. The girl is leagues and leagues 
away from the first kiss of prologue, but she, throat caked with mud, white skin 
scaled verdigris, must be the message within the bottle. Words grow in her 
belly. It doesn’t matter who put them there. If they are the children of plankton,
descendants of eels and pond scum. They come to her as twins, triplets, and 
septuplets, whole alphabets swimming inside her. Each one is a bubble, a bread 
crumb, a rung to climb to the top. And as she ascends she names them with 
names cradled inside her. Her feet kick and her arms clutch. Her body strong 
and slippery, a great tongue that propels her: A is for apple, B is for bone, for 
boat, C is for candle, for cunt, for cut. 

Poem from The Drowned Girl, reprinted with permission of Kent State University Press

Poem from The Drowned Girl, reprinted with permission of Kent State University Press

Eve Alexandra

by this poet

poem

Tiny jewels of sand and salt spill from her mouth. Her lips lie like cloistered nuns. But her ears—they open like lilies. And suddenly all around her there are songs being sung. New notes slick and green, currency on everyone else's tongue. Her own was slow, cut from the wrong cloth, it hadn't been out on the town

poem
There were tiny hounds sniffing out their gilded cages. Fireplaces 
chaste, unlit and beds soft as the pears I ate from palms outstreched. 
The hem of my dress was wet from the fountain and finally it lay on
the floor like the slick blue skin of a fish. We danced silver as a
shiny hook. I heard them clap: red
poem
Needle to thread. Scythe to wheat. Foot to pedal. Hammer and 
sickle. Work, work, work. She has three sisters. At dusk she drinks tea. 
From the silver belly of a samovar. In the dark she drinks vodka. She 
takes a lover who smells of fresh meat and the pines. The hunt is on 
him, like his tongue on the