Sandy Longhorn’s poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Boulevard, The Connecticut Review, Crab Orchard Review, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Empty Set, Recurring
No members, no elements to speak of.
left to say, she resides in the white asylum of solitude.
A bird on the branch refusing to sing.
She throws pebbles into onion grass,
wanting to scare, with a ripple on the still surface,
any living thing
into movement. She is pond-flat, trapped
in central standard time —
the mundane flood of sun,
the moon slung low over fields,
the eyes’ long-distance lope to the horizon.
Her fever comes each midnight, rises flush against the skin,
and she does not fight it,
believing the sweat and the sweet
residual musk will draw the ache away like lips
suctioned against the snakebite,
a cleansing ritual of last resort.
Lacking the punctured wound,
she settles for the heat of her heart as it pumps —
four chambers large enough to echo back
all the sounds she thinks she silenced.