A deer rib cage, opaque
in its barren calcium. I fear the idea
of infinity—beyond that
I fear that if I start, I won't stop
picking my skin, or that a tire
of a semi-truck will explode
through my car window. In the ditch.
These bones, if I close my eyes,
could be a chandelier cut loose
from a tired ceiling. It's a lot to hold
up. I do not fear death, which may be uncommon,
but that does not mean I do not fear
being dead. The deer walked
through my backyard, but its bones
do not hurt and now that it is done
it can never be smashed by a truck again.
I wish everything would be quiet.

Bridget Bell is a poet who also teaches English at Vance Granville Community College in Henderson, NC. She is an associate editor at Four Way Books and the executive director of The Hinge, a literary center serving Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Her work can be found in Zone 3, The New Ohio Review, Cutbank Literary Journal, and DIAGRAM among other literary journals. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761