"I continue to believe that poetry remains one of our most vital reservoirs of reflection, solace, and outrage within a world replete with horrors."

-David St. John

Men always want to throw something at your body:
words, pebbles, their own naked bodies.
Sometimes I throw shards back—bits of mirror,
of glass, pictures of their mothers.
I teach them the word guilt, they gulp it down but
it lodges there in their throats, a gurgle when they speak.
Ophelia, Hamlet’s mother says you were like a creature
incapable of comprehending your own distress,
because it was native to you. Is this why
when you felt the wet weight of the silk pulling you
under, you did nothing but sing? And now,
they claim your image––the beautiful dead woman.
You’ve become a common pornography,
a typical fantasy––a motionless woman’s body.

-from "Constellation for Ophelia"

Published in Tupelo Quarterly

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© 2015 by Anita Olivia Koester