Issue 7 / Poetry

Poetry by Stephanie Anderson

Anatomy of a Girl’s Throat (I)


A cat,

a fox,

my throat

chase after a sound

where this is no good                        side of town—the solid

white line you shouldn’t cross.

We are smokestacks with legs.

We are cups of water.




Jonah and the Whale

You found me     with a whale stoned     & poisoned

In my stomach &       stars had crusted my eyes for days.


Father, you     saved me     once     when two girls dropped

me from the pier     like a sinker, like a fish,     Father.


But when a man parted my legs     looking for something pink

something damp,     and bruised     my grief-waters,   you let the salt


residue &     stars split,     Father.   This body     of river     holds me

like your need     for distance; like     quick silverfish,   my silver stars


darting     away.    I am full     of flies,     Father.


Anatomy of a Girl’s Throat (II)

I have dreamed of horned beasts. I, unicorn;

I, deer; bloat with my unspoken shapes.

Not made for elephants; I, shapeshifter,

shift into a great ivory tusk. They exhaust

from my mouth, the ghosts,

like animals biting like animals going two by two.

They bloom and they un-bloom. Their antlers

scratching air, scratching cranium of sky.

Language fails me. I’ve grown wild.

O, murderer—

who tries to lick me clean who slinks

under the coyote’s moon.



Stephanie Bryant Anderson is founder of Red Paint Hill Publishing. Recent or forthcoming publications include Vinyl Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and The Blueshift Journal. Besides poetry, she enjoys kickboxing and math. Her first poetry collection, Monozygotic | Codependent, is available from The Blue Hour Press. Selected by David Ishaya Osu.

Image copyright Satpreet Kahlor. Self-portrait photo transfer on fabric, paper.