Fretful by Cassidy McFadzean

This disproportionate     Spilling over

It comes as a pain that wakens in the night

To bind (properly, with a hoop or ring)

I supine-twisted out of my spine

and still couldn’t escape my fretting

Of architecture     A ceiling adorned

with carved or embossed work

consisting of intersecting lines in relief

Of animals (now only small)         To eat and devour

It gnaws or consumes from within

Erosion (now rare)

To rub or chafe, torture by wearing away

A canker     reddened sore   decayed spot

(in the wood of a bow or arrow, in a hair)

The tongue prods the ulcer in the back of the mouth

A figure formed by two bendlets, dexter and sinister

Weaving an ornament of jewels or flowers

in a network of lace 

A net of gold or silver embroidery

Of water     Agitated, troubled, broken into waves

A breach or passage made by the sea

A strait  

Cassidy McFadzean holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of two books of poetry: Drolleries (McClelland & Stewart 2019) and Hacker Packer (M&S 2015). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in BOAAT, Diode, Yalobusha Review, and Denver Quarterly.