Surrounded in woods    the leaves
don’t trust you      enough to fall.    They’ll tell
you     escape is dangerous.  The entire
forest covered in wisteria,   & phlox are
carving out your throat      like red meat, like
full moon hysteria in the house      where
they found you      under an old mattress     after
you had gone missing for weeks—your body
now missing its femur.    Outside
vandals destroy what they name worthless:
the horseman, the oxen     —& Fatima, thirty feet off
the ground with spikes   hammering
into space   reveals herself only to children. She wails
for those in hidden cabins, lean-to’s
in dark forests. Fairytales all begin like this: A girl is lost
in the woods and the woods are alive and branches
reach for her cape, crimson, fluid, and so she runs
to a witch’s house, a woman’s house  & she is consumed
wholemeal or in pieces. She is frozen marble, pocked
concrete. Why are the choices maiden, matron  & crone?
Why are our eyes held in cupped hands, all-seeing and blind,
wide open? Everywhere I turn flora holds its breath, waits
for a hard exhale.




Stephanie Bryant Anderson earned her B.S. in English and Psychology from Austin Peay State University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Passages North, Birmingham Poetry Review, Mid-American Review and others. Her chapbook Monozygotic | Codependent (2015) is available from The Blue Hour Press. Currently Stephanie is completing an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling.
Andrea Spofford writes poems and essays, some of which can be found or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, The Account, inter|rupture, New South, The Portland Review, Sugar House Review, Revolver, Vela Magazine, Puerto del Sol, and more. A native Californian transplanted to the South, Andrea is the author of four chapbooks, one full-length collection, and poetry editor at Zone 3 Press. Find her online at and on Twitter @andspoff.