Kelle Groom is the author of a memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Simon & Schuster) and three poetry collections, most recently Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, New York Times, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her awards include a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Prose. She is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, and is Director of the Summer Program Workshops at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
It’s a misleading headline, as she never holds the scalpel
Just bobby pins her crown & rubs the shark’s ilium
Where muscles & pelvis attach.
Detached, it’s a shawl of bones.
Mostly she, JaCee, watches with an expression better suited
To her own autopsy, mouth agape, burgundy blotch near her
Ear. I’m all for Science Education, & have plenty of questions
Myself, for instance why do I hear water running in the walls
Of my bedroom all night long, in the pipes that heat this old place?
Is gas a liquid or is all the water from clouds overhead
Filtered through my house? Here it comes again, like a shower
In the grates. I’m afraid it’s flammable & might combust.
Outside my window is a regular knocking that after snow
Is accompanied by chunks of falling ice. But who is out there?
I can only think of Catherine & Heathcliff which isn’t
Very scientific. In the privacy of my possibly combustible home,
Resurrection is promoted on TV. I’m asked, “What if someone
You lost was returned?” A couple covered in flour
Or stardust clutch each other in a field;
The face of a woman who lost her son is elastic
With her widening mouth as if screaming needs more room.
It needs a lot of room, & then needs almost none,
Give it long enough, no one will even hear.