bifurcating like a heart would/night scatters into pieces/reassembled like a girl should/be I tug the laces/of my boots and hold the shadows/tight against my ribs/double double oil and meadow/bubble burning cribs/collecting all the dead men’s bones/scattered in the dirt/collected in their wooden coffins/and rotting threads of shirts/with useless rubber shoe-soles/I useful make my hull/roll ashes into hunks of coal/burning fuel to cull/the waves from beds of bones to beds/of men so close to death/they gladly open up their heads/and bottlecork their breath/double triple whiskey sour/bubble boil the gin/I lay the bones out in my bower/rinse lavender my skin/rinse their names of every letter/and spell myself instead/every night a little wetter/every day less dead
About The Author
Elizabeth Theriot grew up in Louisiana and lives in Alabama, where she teaches writing, volunteers with The Yellowhammer Fund, and performs as half of an improvisatory sound duo. Elizabeth has a chapbook forthcoming in September from dancing girl press, and you can find her work online in A VELVET GIANT, Winter Tangerine, Ghost Proposal, Vagabond City, OCCULUM, Tinderbox, and others. She is currently working on both a memoir about desire and disability and a poetry manuscript.
I use fairy tale, myth, and other fabulist tropes in my writing is to refract and reframe my own identity, experiences, traumas, fears, and dreams—similarly to how fairy tales might represent the anxieties of an age, or myths allow a group to explain themselves to themselves. I grew up so inundated with fantastic stories that fairy tale shapes and impressions are constantly manifesting unconsciously in my work, so I try to consciously wield these familiar images in new, potent ways.