I could write of the crooked teeth that dangle,

in wicked forms, from my mouth. You tell me:

o, woman!, which means: what are you afraid

of?My arms tonight are cool and bare in the shower,

my vomitcollecting itself like sprigs of honeybees

across the tiles. How does the shower work like wide

dresses of light? I remember states of emergency: hurricane

season coming to town like an untethered relative. My mouth

full of cinnamon gum and rain. You ask me if I am

showering; if I am brushing well those cruel spaces

between my teeth. My mother tells me, on the phone,

she can feel it, like a river, when I am doing poorly. She

comes in the form of bird to clack across the roof above

the bathroom: there is life, so new and at times so gone

from me. My mother, I imagine, has been thin all her life.

She speaks as such: as though thinness were a new kind

of intelligence; as though I’ve forgotten to paint in hues

of merriment. I stand naked, like a startling face, behind you.

Loisa Fenichell’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Tupelo Quarterly, Gordon Square Review, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, “all these urban fields,” was published by nothing to say press. She is an MFA candidate at Saint Mary’s College of California and currently lives in Oakland, CA.