Susan Tepper is a twenty-year writer and the author of nine published books of fiction and poetry. Her most recent are CONFESS (poetry from Cervena Barva Press, 2020) and a zany road novel WHAT DRIVES MEN (Wilderness House Press, 2019). Right now she’s in pre-production of an Off-Broadway play titled ‘The Crooked Heart’ re-written and adapted from an earlier novel, which focuses on artist Jackson Pollock in his later years.
It began with fear circling the house
shadowy, gaining, shifting
in minuscule measure: the furniture;
then blowing out windows,
cracking the porcelain bird
on the hutch in too many pieces.
Glue being out of the question.
Keeping your head down
you went about preparing meals
with knives too sharp,
‘ti one night
sliced deep into your finger joint.
Blood, unfettered, ran freely
down your arm and onto the floor
in rapid pools—
should’ve had a stitch or two
if you’d been in your right mind.
Not afraid to disturb
an already confused equilibrium.
Years after, the wound
grew a hard shell
round and turtle-backed