Permafrost by Betty Stanton

Greyhound wheels turn through the bleak grey of a winter rainstorm cracking the Midwestern
sky – we twist, fly, turn jagged.  Outside our windows the world stretches gaunt, tight-lipped and
shattering quiet like lying in bed and trying to think of all of the right things to say this time —
discovering our empty mouths.   Come here. Plant your roots in my stomach and love can grow
like a vine through us both before we say goodbye, say I’ll see you again when I’m hunger pangs
in a bloated stomach and you’re made out of faded eyes and all our missed memories
, saying
love is a vine but my stomach is sick and I won’t last another winter without something to keep
me full
. Your mouth is the gaping of an empty cave, bone deep cold, and winter is killing me, is
crushing me under your heel. So goodbye everything between the gulf of your body and mine –
maybe there’s heat beneath but we have to find it, to dig in, to claw through permafrost where
even acid can’t burn to it. We have to get down deep enough, and there it will be, safe, hidden
like the seed of everything we’re wrapped up in if you peel away enough layers, if you’re willing
to bleed knuckles against ice, to dig in deep enough.

About the Poet
Betty Stanton is a writer who lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is currently a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her work has appeared in various journals including Siren, Gravel, Proximity, andNimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and is forthcoming in several other publications.