Orphic
Joannie Stangeland

Orphic

And what would Eurydic mean?

Love felled by fang, left as shadow,

woman of ash in the ash world.

Story of hunger—his.

Story of music—his.

Sun in his voice, blood.

Woman of shadow left by smoke,

her veins a harp unstrung.

Wind through ribs, an empty pithos.

After the spark, left in ice.

Woman with no word

heard singing under your tongue,

singing her story, singed.

The shadow in your throat.

Joannie Stangeland

is the author of several collections, most recently The Scene You See. Her poems have appeared in Two Hawks Quarterly, SWWIM, Prairie Schooner, and other journals. She holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop.