Eileen Pettycrew

Psalm 3.14

Underground people haunt me,
           I smell bones on my breath.
They call out all my numbers,
           I go on and on alone,
no decimal point can contain my loneliness.

I fracture daily into a fraction,
           an endless high-rise condo rising,
a cottonmouth swimming in the swamp.
           What debris will I leave behind?
Half-eaten apple, coffee cup stain,

lint from the dryer, Barbie doll head.
           My tongue wags while I pretend
not to cry the small cry of the worm
           flooded from his home,
now waterlogged on the sidewalk.

I tear out my headache limb by limb.
           Is empty big or really, really small?
I am a fool for numbering my days.
           The dark and the light
never divide evenly.

Author Portrait

Eileen Pettycrew’s poems have appeared in Gold Man Review, VoiceCatcher, and The Scream Online’s Dreams Poetry Anthology. Her nonfiction book, Growing Up Girl, was published in 2003. She lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.