Jennifer Givhan

Self-Portrait
by Jennifer Givhan

~

On the Southwestern coast
Nuevo Mexico weds Germany in pale peach chiffon.

A red-bearded father drops acid then med school to mop mental ward waste

where he meets a black-haired
mother in nursing scrubs. Does she mistake his fairness

for the feathered snake’s return? Does she fly?

~

In a sandy ditch by desert night, an owl
traces maps of the borderland into my body—

cliff dwellings, the taste of red brick on the tongue

I am from the sagebrush, devil’s lettuce, petroglyph,
from cottonwood, fiddleneck, black-ice basalt.

From piñata string & sorrow, I come with pumpkin stones in dark rye bread.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.

Jennifer GivhanJennifer Givhan was a PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellow and a recipient of a 2015 NEA in poetry, as well as the 2013 DASH Literary Journal Poetry Prize winner, the 2015 Blue Mesa Review second-prize winner, an Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize finalist, and a 2014 Prairie Schooner Book Prize finalist for her collection Karaoke Night at the Asylum.

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