<< Back to Issue 5.1
"de Los Muertos" by Emily O'Neill
GS 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Winner
Feed the dead with smoke, with silk
sleeves and thin-soled shoes. Feed them
stark bone and feathered color. Play
donkey with the dead. Carry them
on your back like a cloak. Pedro the Sorcerer,
keeper of earthquakes. Eduardo's father, his music
and snakes. Feed them sage bundles, painted
bottles of agave. And the Spanish my own father spoke
only to my sister, words with slick clay seams between them.
The language you slow and keep, passing it between your hands,
nearly ripe fruit. The sleep of apples. A city of florists missing
the right blooms. Skull with a marigold mouth.
Emily O'Neill is a proud Jersey girl who tells loud stories in her inside voice because she wants to keep you close. She gives kitchen chair haircuts and hopes to one day acquire a live shark. Her most recent work is present or forthcoming in Sugar House Review, Weave Magazine, Whiskey Island, and Paper Darts, among others. You can pick her brain at http://emily-oneill.com.