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"The Findings" by Devon Miller-Duggan


Amok and wolves prowling

shady woods and brambles.

Rabbits reabsorb their fetuses in times of crisis.

It’s not hard to draw a map:

comfortless greed and Midas,

uncomforted vanity and Narcissus,

uncomfortable unclothes of The Emperor.

Season of the flamboyant or flammable

and we are burning to be, or simply burning.

Men say, “I have killed the goose who laid the golden eggs.”

Men say, “I have called the seas, commanded them to rise against tides.”

Men say, “I have flown my children into the sun’s embrace.”

Kelpies carried children to watery graves.

Qallupilluit dragged children through cracks in melting ice.

Lilith stole fine babies from their cradles in the night.

Yara-ma-yla-who sucked the blood of children who walked beneath fig trees.

Black Annis wore her skirt all pieced of childrens’ skins.

Abo Ragl Ma Slokha burned children alive as his mother had burned away his leg.

And we burned, simply burning.

Women said, “I have named the season of the flamboyant or the flammable.”

Women’s fingers said, “We have made uncomfortable the unclothes of The Emperor.”

Women said, “We have mirrored the uncomforted vanity of Narcissus. We tire.”

Daughters have fed the comfortless greed of Midas.

Rabbits reabsorbed their fetuses in times of crisis.

Shady woods and brambles,

wolves amok and prowling:

it was not hard to draw a map.




Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in The Antioch Review, Massachusetts Review, and Spillway. She teaches at the University of Delaware. Her books include Pinning the Bird to the Wall (Tres Chicas Books, 2008), Alphabet Year, (Wipf & Stock, 2017), The Slow Salute, Lithic Press Chapbook Competition Winner, 2018).

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