Where lay the moon before tonight enshrined her,
before the crotch of earth and sky
bore this cameo, bare reminder
of her alabaster stare and swollen tide.
Flushed of the jovial foam she rose, yet risen,
bled her belly white
as stone under lips and schism ―
the lips that burn in a queer, subzero light.
Where bides that grace whose porcelain face assumes
a haloed air, starred to redeem its
vestal veil, scour the blood-stained rooms
till bleached, and turn the face anemic.
Stephen Pollock received the Rolfe Humphries Poetry Prize in his senior year at Amherst College. His poem “Syringe” was shortlisted for the 2018 Live Canon International Poetry Prize, and his elegy “Leaves” was a semifinalist for the 2019 River Styx International Poetry Contest. “Arachnidæa: Line Drawings” was awarded second place in the Poet’s Choice category of the Oregon Poetry Association’s 2020 competition. Steve’s poems have appeared in Poeming Pigeon, Live Canon Anthology, Ink to Paper, Buddhist Poetry Review and Pinesong.