Briony Gylgayton (Iowa Writers Workshop, USA)
America! Nineteen twenty:
Sweet green water and egg salad sandwiches.
We swam in red brick pools
and spread ourselves like cream cheese.
She touched my arm
only to find that it was a parasol
while I dressed in pale purple
and imitated a flower,
opening my mouth to let the bees in.
She was swimming like bread crust,
her great jaws swollen with laughter.
It took her so long to get out
that my fingers had grown around the slick curved handles
and she was weak and waterlogged.
When I walked over brick, the sharp mended ends of my hands only
clicked and danced. But my friend, her feet were soft and wet.
Bees swarmed the footprints,
and she bent to watch them dance and click.
Kneeling very slowly
my skirt slipped about my ankles
and skipped about my knees
One distant splash of sweet green water
Bees swam in my red brick mouth.
Briony Gylgayton is working on her MFA in Poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her Creative Writing Honors Thesis, a manuscript of poetry about psychological disorders of the DSM-IV, was awarded the Elliot Gilbert Memorial Prize. Her current poetry explores the connections between American folktales and survival-horror video games.