Ashley Rollend


She peddles food across the kitchen table,
A table that stretches from her hips to the hips of her great grand
A table made of wood and reinforced with the spines of women.
She stomps over mice carcasses and the empty shells of bullets,
Spins gunpowder into yarn and weaves herself a shawl.
She peddles furniture in front of the palace,
Wheeling around a cart the stinks of wood polish and wine,
Her back a fish hook curved closed.
She stares through windows made of butterfly wings
And prays for a rain that will strip her bare,
Leaving nothing but bones and charred feathers behind.
She peddles hopes and dreams to children on the streets,
Their eyes black buttons and their hands made of stone.
Pebbles fall from the corners of her mouth like waves from the
And she watches the children skip them across pools of blood.
She peddles her body beneath the screaming moon,
Her shadow a spider crawling across the bricks of the alleyway,
Her smile a tearing seam on your mother’s wedding dress.
In her home town, a concrete city that’s still drying,
She leaves footprints on the doorways of preachers and loan sharks