OVA | Christine Stoddard

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Christine Stoddard is a Salvadoran-Scottish-American writer and artist who lives in Brooklyn. She is the founding editor of Quail Bell Magazine, an art and culture magazine. ​
​Stoddard also is the author of Naomi and the Reckoning (Black Magic Media), Jaguar in the Cotton Field (Another New Calligraphy), Hispanic & Latino Heritage in Virginia (The History Press), Ova (Dancing Girl Press), Chica/Mujer (Locofo Press), Lavinia Moves to New York (Underground Voices), The Eating Game (Scars Publications), and two miniature books from the Poems-For-All series. Her work has appeared in anthologies by Candlewick Press, Civil Coping Mechanisms, ELJ Publications, and other publishers, as well. 
“My Nightingale”

There’s an Old World flycatcher sleeping in my throat.
The slow song of a dark spell destined her to eternal slumber.
Better off dead than dormant, I say, and yet the thrush lives.

A lover once set a ruby rose afloat on a little boat to wake her.
He was the lover of a lifetime, and yet the feckless thrush lives.
No rose—no matter how red or fragrant—could wake her.

I dream of my nightingale opening her eyes and her beak,
and singing my story to a public that would never hear me.

She would explain the scars, the tears, and the many moons
spent curled up on the kitchen floor, scratching my ankles with
fingernails shredded from teeth always gnashing or grinding.