Why I Will Never Kiss You Again
Because wolves circled the greenhouse ceiling
Because it was midnight & we fought since dinner
Because I stood barefoot in the garden, mouth full of green
Because the child went wild for wolves & I could not name her
Because you demanded do it before she kept growing
Because I imagined where they didn’t bite, this world
Because if I kissed you the unnamed daughter had a beginning
Where we didn’t have to conjure her see-through bones
Where the body inside you doesn’t drink its weight in whiskey
Where the child is safe to wander the land of wolves, full grown
Where animals rescue us from the red flag we raised
Where the daughter we killed together weighs negative stone.
SHANNON ELIZABETH HARDWICK's work has appeared in Salt Hill, Versal, The Texas Observer, Devil's Lake, Four Way Review, Sugar House Review, Huffington Post UK, among others. A graduate from Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program, Hardwick serves as the poetry editor for The Boiler Journal and her first book of poetry, Before Isadore, was recently published by Sundress Publications.