She is not afraid of gods. She leaves her skin,
still coiled, a great throat collapsed.
Gods have entered and left.
The door sounds like a throat clearing
in its rusty evolution toward shadow,
an atrium from scalding noon.
She treats the dark like a cathedral.
She is all swallow, the heart working
under every scale to outgrow a fortified spiral.
The cathedral swallows the heart.
Take up your broom. No gods are left.
She finished the mice in time for autumn's gloom.
There are some cathedrals like this shed
behind the house where she shunned her body
and in the dark was not afraid of gods.
Sunlight pulls past our legs
on the plywood and pools in the coiled skin
Dig your broom into corners.
She is not afraid of gods or matriarchs.
Copyright © 2013 Amber Flora Thomas. “Shed” originally appeared in Callaloo, Vol. 36, No. 2. Used with permission of the author.
Amber Flora Thomas
Amber Flora Thomas is the author of The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems (University of Alaska Press, 2012) and Eye of Water: Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, chosen by Harryette Mullen. Her third poetry collection, Red Channel in the Rupture, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2018. She lives in Washington, North Carolina.
Date Published: 2018-03-22
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/shed