Ohio Highway Song (Lying Poem #32)

You have begun to whet, how salted
ice loves and sharpens its dark
routes. Winter thick against
the tongue, heavy-
headed in the spring — you dry unnatural
as teeth, prairie
star white, bristling of gutted
stalks. Bone shear of wheat's
clear spines. Snapped in
a September chill, their backs familiar as
your peach-
tree genius, you grass-burn-
of-Thursdays —
open your phone like a body
tonight, like a brown cricket still
alive. Nothing sings in this
much pain. That's why I unravel fledglings from
the seeds you left me. Don't tell
me how they swallow other mommas'
scaled babies when I give
into thirst. Their empty mouths
are poppies, dark
against stop signs,
crying past
detours, crying
you need me more.

Katherine Frain is a freshman at Princeton University this fall and a freshman at Hogwarts once the wizards sort out their mailing system. She's been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, the Poetry Society of London, and the 2013 Adroit Prizes in Fiction & Verse, and she currently works at the Adroit Journal as a poetry editor. Among others, her works have appeared or are forthcoming in the Postscript Journal, Vector Press, and Rufous City Review. (kfrain@princeton.edu)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761