Chicken feathers in the ductwork

The floor litters with chicken feathers;
the chickens you raised, a cornerstone stolen
from the open field kept dark
and fenced. Your neck of secrets.
A latch on my bedroom door. The hen house
is gone yet I hear them. Yes— the chickens;
Yes— it is strange. Up through the bowels
of the ductwork, feathers, like milk
emerging breast. The slaughterhouse gave us
stillborn walls, kissed my lungs with salt & alabaster.
Here is where you bloom cannibal. The house
we built wants proof I am more than abstraction.
More than chicken shit. A woman a ruffling of feathers
lit the stars end to end; the dark
sky without her is a gaping hole. I grow a pelt
full-moon orange & in the positive space
my hands together in prayer meet inside
my body like horizon. I am reaching for light. For air.


Stephanie Bryant Anderson earned her B.S. in English and Psychology from Austin Peay State University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Passages North, Birmingham Poetry Review, Mid-American Review and others. Her chapbook Monozygotic | Codependent (2015) is available from The Blue Hour Press. Currently Stephanie is completing an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling.