Black Bell [Wore the whistles …]

A bell’s dome represents the whole universe, the flat bottom represents the earth, and the hollow inside represents the space between the rest of the universe and the earth. When you strike a bell it sends a message from Earth out into the universe. Before reading, strike a bell tuned to A, the note connected to the third-eye chakra.

Wore the whistles
of men down her back.

Her clapper hung
like a saggy breast,
a piece of music.

Beneath her skirt was
the truth made ugly. Unsweet
as blackberry thorns.

Her laughter’s rattle, a mask
for secret contempt.
She took in as much

as she could. A homely,
or rather timely,
air about her.

Inside the wall of her cheek
was a sliver of violence
only she could trust.

The wind would witness
but wouldn’t chime in. 

From Black Bell (Copper Canyon Press, 2024) by Alison C. Rollins. Copyright © 2024 by Alison C. Rollins. Used with the permission of the publisher.