The Witch of the East Calls a Council

by Emily Rose Cole

The night has claws. The ripe seedpod
of the moon hangs above wrinkled
fingers of furrow. In the forest, a buck

carves into a paper-skinned birch. In town,
a blackbird darts through a window, drops
feathers on a child’s bed.

The earth is heavy with salt. A dead girl sings
with a swallow’s tongue. Sisters, point your heels
to the west. Your throats are pyres filled with smoke.

Emily Rose Cole is a poet and tea lover from Pennsylvania. She is the winner of the Nancy D. Hargrove Editor’s Prize, the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets University Prize, and the Sandy Crimmins Award. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Fugue, Jabberwock Review, and Gulf Stream, among others.