At the séance she drew sacred objects from her vulva;
a brass hand-mirror
chipped fingernails, a jagged
and forgotten dollhouse.
She bucked in the candlelight, remembering
her hair matted with sand
thighs taught over the horse’s back- side-saddle
and the jugular severed by a metal bookmark.
A man grabbed her by the jaw, and stuffed bay leaves
into her screaming mouth
an attempt to drive out the longing.
She spat and spat and out of her ears she pulled
embroidered cats and rotten heirloom tomatoes.
She glared, glassy-eyed at the woman in across the table,
the woman’s belly vibrated, naked and waning,
“Each stillborn child you birth must stay in the nursery
with the living children, in jars.
Otherwise their withered souls will continue to wail
at all hours of the night.”
Pushcart-nominated writer Erin Emily Ann Vance was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and the 2018 recipient of the LK Carol Honey Scholarship for creative writing. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net, and her fiction has was a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards. Erin‘s debut novelwill be published by Stonehouse Publishing in Fall 2019 and her second poetry chapbook will be released by Coven Editions in Spring 2019.
–Art by Chelsea Sturgill