Portrait in a Jewelry Box by Lisa Hiton

You have inherited everything.
But the earrings and the box

those were stolen.
You had checked in

to a hotel on Queen’s Gate.
They’d been left

on the nightstand. By the time
the woman who owned them

came back,
they were already stowed

in your weekend tote
(wrapped in a chambray

stolen from the last woman).
At this hour, intent in the mirror

you see yourself, but feel nothing.
When you look in the jewelry box

touch your fingers to the bottom
fear consumes you:

you hadn’t gone to my funeral;
when I was asked if

I’d like to be ghost or object
I chose this little coffin.




Lisa Hiton holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Linebreak, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Denver Quarterly, New South, and LAMBDA Literary among others. She has received the AWP Kurt Brown Prize, the Esther B Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center, and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the chapbook, Variation on Testimony (CutBank 2017). She is the Senior Poetry Editor of the Adroit Journal and the Interviews Editor of Cosmonauts Avenue.