The Fire Wife
dancing girl press, 2008
Melissa Culbertson currently and perpetually lives in a small Chicago suburb with her family. She is a graduate of Lewis University, where she studied literature and creative writing. Her poetry has recently appeared in or is forthcoming from Flyway, Windows, Pebble Lake Review, Barn Owl Review, Wicked Alice, [GROWLING SOFTLY] from Juliet Cook's Blood Pudding Press, and Melusine, or Woman in the 21st Century. Melissa also co-edits the online literary journal blossombones with her good friend and fellow writer, Susan Slaviero.
Girl with a spine like
an I-beam. Girl with a no-name
like Cherry. Marionetta. Flutterarms of
the order Lepidoptera. The choke,
black, wrests her neck yellow.
A hot bone to her
Circular Miss Morello:
hollyhock-rot, mounted, stout-
stemmed. A woman for show singing
psalms on a highwire. A sweetlamp.
Eyes knifehigh to the hairline, eyeliner
dripping like mud into
appleneck sweating sweet
maraschino syrup. Cirisbeam, balsam,
mouth like a bluebell. Cherry-spots & veins of red
nightshade on her collar branch into