Saturday Dec 02

TaggartHannah Hannah Taggart is entering her junior year at Wells College in Aurora, NY. There she majors in Psychology and Women & Gender Studies and minors in Creative Writing. This is her first publication.



Nonna always kept her kitchen clean
Scraped the oven shiny - steel wool
And a butter knife
Nonna cooked because she knew
So well of ache
Pressed spoons to mouths
With milky eyes
She would panic at bones
As she unfleshed them
Both a sickness and a blessing
Nonna kept her hands caked with flour
Liked the feel of it
Dough living in the creases
Of her palms
One touch could fill you
The wood of her table was stained with salt
The wood of her table was polished


Grandad used to wear big rings
Big silver rings on thick tan fingers and
I thought they were beautiful
Glinting like sun, like
Teeth, strewn across crooked knucklebones
They mocked of wolf jaws,
Meant to glare, to snap
He would flex his grin at the dinner table
And I thought it was beautiful
And I thought it would keep us safe.


I see the devil’s head, people,
I see her whole body
Grey veins webbing out around
Milk rock
Who wrapped you up in
Skin, Devil?
Who painted your eyes so blue?

She won’t tell you the room is dripping, spinning,
Behind blue eyes
She won’t tell you how her jaw bone
Has been hurting her
She won’t tell you that she’s forgotten
What the breeze feels like.

The devil heats water for spaghetti
Pours a glass of wine
Deep enough for two, knowing
It will warm me
I drink with both hands
Cupped around the bowl

If she smelled less of salt and
More of ash
She would be the sea
If she smelled more of the sea and
Cut her hair short
She would be my mother
Her shoulders are preparing to crumble
And she can still feel the wave tips
Catching her skin
Calling her back

The devil wants hollowed out bird bones and
Red moss
She is tired of whispers and
Worn wooden floors

The water has begun to boil
Over and the noodles are caked
To the bottom of the pan
She doesn’t remember how to
Order pizza
So she pours another glass of wine
And we eat stale saltines
By candlelight


I still visit the house that killed me
I come in the morning
Over hills wrapped in milk
And I stand in your garden
Waiting in decay
With your earthworms and your rot
One day
I will remember
How to open the door.
Will marvel at the floorboards
Stained with salt
Will marvel at your
Dinner table
And your broken bowls
There will be feathers tied with twine
There will be dancing.
The wind won’t chime
Without you here.


The edges of my hips have
Always been cold, have
You felt that?
Dip and sway in ice storm
This is how I learned to walk
To run
The tips of my fingers have
Stopped feeling, have
You noticed?
Reaching out numbness
Know that I know you are there
But don’t know how to feel you
Press my knuckles
To your mouth and
This is what silver tastes like,
Locked away and tarnishing
I have forgotten
How to pick up the phone
And you have stopped calling

The edges of my hips have
Always been cold.