Susannah Nevison

Something Clinical
by Susanna Nevison

At what altar did you kneel, what cruel god

pressed his thumb against your forehead and a stone

under your tongue and did not forgive. And still

the body knew, said she is not mine, its arched

cavern breaking its own, twisting daughter legs into

daughter fins, a fish for a flower, cold reptilian

blue, sliding into first light: the murmurs she is not

right, the feet tucked in and under, furled twins.

Coax her unfolded and plaster each limb, hold fast

the binding but please show her how to survive

this: force feet into molded shoes

and let her stand.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.

Susannah NevisonSusannah Nevison is the recipient of a 2013 Academy of American Poets Larry Levis Prize, and won the 2013 American Literary Review Poetry Prize. Her first book, Teratology, won the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize, and is forthcoming from Persea Books in 2015.

See all items about Susannah Nevison

Visit Susannah Nevison’s contributors page.

Leave a Reply