Hannah Craig



Her parents look young and are clicking their tongues in two different rhythms. I heard them weeping in the hall. Everything hurts them—the purple of a single cat-tongued iris at the edge of the field. Knots in her hair. Gold drawn up in the blinds, folded over. Hemmed gold. "Loving" doesn't mean capricious. So where is the red? The more straps she wears, the more her shoulders shake. The closer the mouths of the poppies. The closer the coin in the bucket. A country torn into bravery and distraction, two flat, irregular scraps. She bit her nail off. She stood there with her shoulders up around her ears. From each corner of the very earth, a scarlet breath. Get over here, they say, and take that headscarf off. She finds it is so tempting to turn her head and kiss her own shoulder.