Nicole Rollender is editor of Stitches. Her work has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, The Journal, THRUSH Poetry Journal, West Branch, Word Riot and others. Her full-length poetry collection, Louder Than Everything You Love, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications. She’s the author of the chapbooks Arrangement of Desire (Pudding House Publications, 2007), Bone of My Bone, a winner in Blood Pudding Press’s 2015 Chapbook Contest, and Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016). She’s the recipient of poetry prizes from CALYX Journal, Ruminate Magazine and Princemere Journal.
Before Sleep, Say
Women who club a mare’s head
wash their hands, naming what’s gone.
My mouth is entangled with winter.
The voice of God cauldrons: wetted
earth, fetlock, talons, the other side
of ravage. Will they be lost?
Women have sewn for centuries
while wintering, heart and ancient fish
bone on cloth. Their hands suffer
on tables of flowers, birthing shrouds.
The saints can’t come to me in dream.
I fling apples into eternity,
homesick for flying.