Phiolomela / Tara Mae Mulroy
dancing girl press, 2014
Tara Mae Mulroy is a former Managing Editor and Poetry Editor of The Pinch Literary Journal and an alum of the MFA program in poetry at the University of Memphis. Her work has appeared recently in Bayou Magazine, Cutbank, Third Coast, and others.
The Swamp Wife
I clean a bullfrog of its eyes, work the legs
until the muscle surrenders. Love is knowing
another’s breaking point.
The gypsy moths don’t know: they strip
the spruces and pines, kill them naked.
I know love is about avoiding.
I let my husband roost in a ditch
of booze piss. The last time we talked
he told me he dreamed his mouth kept filling with my tears.
I don’t know if it was a bear that ate
the breath behind my ribs last night. If it was
a coon scraped down to scalp and spine.
I make my bed by the light of the star-
lepered sky, name the gators
lullabying the bank.