She gave us a medal; she gave us a map.
- Sufjan Stevens, "Jacksonville"
I am healthier now, clutching
a mirror in my mind, a leaf
between my teeth.
The river is full
of leeches, but I fly over,
balancing the fever
on one wing and confusion
on the other.
The river is a mirror,
and my face is a happy blur.
Signing multiple drafts, multiple petitions,
and the waves roll in, past my pen.
Thank God for these bones.
Because of them, I can stand
between the clouds and finish working.
She had a Mennonite name,
and it rang in my brain.
I almost mistook her name
for my own, but then my pen
was out of ink,
and my passions ran dry.
Will no one read these letters?
When we use words like "natural,"
we wish our bones
would soak-up the excess,
the fog above the water.
Shannon McKeehen has been writing poetry for a long time and
received my MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills
College. Shannon’s been published in Toasted Cheese, Et Cetera,
Red Fez, and other places. She is currently working on her
doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition at Kent State.