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. Yesβ€” the chickens;
Yesβ€” 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.


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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.