Death Mythos by Margaret Cipriano

You insisted on wanting only one thing
at a time, but the forest path was carved

with lover’s initials, the oily rot
of their bark. Nearby, a deer licks

its own entrails. Sometimes it’s nice to see
the evidence of accident. As if the sun

could be switched on. As if the dog brought fire
to the river instead of an outstretched

hand. A friend bleaches bones to get them
cleaner. Later she moves your car, fixes

your jaw. Love was delicious
and bright as a curse. All the flies made

a mirrory show of buzzing around their
carcass. You haven’t forgotten, have you?

Just as a ghost can shape a person,
the creature will give up its eyes and

everyone will weep. The way horror slices
a mountain open—
Margaret Cipriano is currently pursuing an MFA at The Ohio State University and serves as the Managing Editor of The Journal. Her poems and visual art have appeared or are forthcoming in Quarterly West, The Nashville Review, The Adroit Journal, Ninth Letter, Copper Nickel, Mid-American Review, Salt Hill, West Branch, Poetry Northwest and others. She is the recent recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart nomination, and a finalist for the Greg Grummer Poetry Award at Phoebe.