Light! Light! I hear her calling when she’s a block away as if she’s a monger of light. She kneels at my feet, says I see you’ve been wallowing, it smells like salt in here. Well I’ve lost so many and my dead women call out as I sleep. She comes to the door bearing light like a grief doula. Get up, she says, or I’ll command this demon steal your every bright thing. I get up and she commences a lecture on egg structure/how the only part she’ll eat is the chalazea: not the albumen, not the yolk, not the vitillene membrane or the germinal disc. I tell her I’m going to name my lost child Vittelline and she nods like she already knew that, then gives me a lozenge of light that smells of rosehips and tastes like radial mercy. The sagebrush goes peak bloom and my nightstand’s full of antihistamines, the day kind and the night kind. She comes, her adipose cells swollen with light, says Why don’t we scream the names of your dead while tearing our hair out inside an insipid weather of self-pity, then replace the hair with follicles of light, which feels (the tearing) good though I see how it could become maladaptive. A cloud gathers itself at the end of the street. Cumulonimbus. Close your eyes, I say to the dead, and she says Silly they don’t need eyes anymore, they see just fine. She sews fuses under my skin.

Kerri Webster

Kerri Webster is the author of three books of poetry: The Trailhead (Wesleyan, 2018), Grand & Arsenal (Iowa, 2012), and We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone (Georgia, 2005). She currently teaches in the MFA program at Boise State University.