Lisa Higgs


Wedged between prairie plat and river
dammed into a boot of broad water,
life becomes a knot meant to be worked.

Everything seems too big to swallow,
inflexible throat unable to stretch to meet
the awkward size of sustenance. Plenty

of sun blistering the lake face. Pimpled boats
dragging their enthusiasts over humps of wave,
wake an artifice of wind. The tipsy slosh

tripping over riprap. Plenty in murmur of motors
and mowers. The freeway whine that seems
to glide surfaces like skimming bugs alert

to the possibility—above and below—of hinges.
The worked jaw. Fin and wing. Fight
and flight. Plenty of string let out behind

one moving forward. To be tugged down.
Lifted up. Entangled, entwined. The neon leak
of transition becomes an oil spill gumming up

the skyline. A sign spelling loneliness without
the vowels, which makes it unspeakable.
Everything seems too full of hunger,

twilight the lips of a mouth just beginning
to show its set of pearly, perfect teeth.

Lisa Higgs

is the author of three chapbooks, including Alone in Memory of Windows (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2018). Her poem "Wild Honey Has the Scent of Freedom" was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2017 Basil Bunting International Poetry Prize from the Newcastle Center for the Literary Arts, and her work has been published in numerous literary journals. She is the poetry editor for Quiddity.