The 2River View 23.4 (Summer 2019)

Sarah Sousa

The Other World

What is broken here,
there is whole. The mirror’s
bad luck sealed for good
along its concentric spider’s
web of cracks. The head
of the doll pushed back
onto her body. Synthetic hair,
jagged-cut with dull scissors,
long again and, oddly, human.
A skull, a vase, an old love
mended. Hole in the ice, heart
valve, clasp of the necklace.
The razed house reconstructs
itself, bone by charred bone,
burnishes the empty rooms.
And rivers flow back to their source:
Wet-dark trees. Raindrop
at the tip of every leaf
reflecting the inverted world
like a woman feathered with mirrors.


Wich: a bundle of fiber.
Wik to twine and twist,
connected to spinning
a hasp, a skein of yarn.
Wik the coiling roots
of the tree. Women
twisted flax and other plant fiber
into wicks, dipped in tallow
and burned. The word
wicker for willow wand
baskets, the word
weak meaning flexible stalk,
wice for witch hazel’s pliant nature.
Wicket, a turning
gate. The measured turning
of time, a week.
Wicked, the making
of knots and plaiting the fibers.
Wicked the conjuring of cloth
from beasts. Wich,
when the field grass assembles.
Witch when it burns.

Sarah Sousa is the author of See the Wolf, Split the Crow and Church of Needles and of the chapbook Yell. Her poems have appeared in the North American Review and the Southern Poetry Review, among others. She is on the board of directors of Perugia Press. web site

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