Poetry

Rita Feinstein

TEN OF SWORDS

it means things can’t get any worse
so they might as well get better

but in the card the sky is all black
except for a low, pulsing dawn

like a yellow wound undressing,
but it could be just another sunset

spilling more blood, burying
more blades in my back,

and why is their aim so good
when i miss everything i swing for—

shhh, sulking won’t change anything;
i promised myself i’d never feel

sorry for myself again, but i feel
like i’ve failed you—you always tell me

to change my mind, as if depression
is a brown pear i don’t have to eat

so i almost don’t recognize you
when you say I hate to think of you  

there without me,
and you take the sadness by the pommel,

you take what’s out of reach,
you take the pain and you take it away,

one sword at a time.


Rita Feinstein is a graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program. Her work has appeared in The Cossack ReviewMenacing HedgePermafrost, and Spry Literary Journal, among other publications. Her favorite things are dragons, all-you-can-eat sushi, and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth

Emily Corwin