On the morning my mother saw the deer
and its fawn, her throat was an alarm
new and warm,
under her gaze.
We came running in socks, just in time to
watch them disappear into the ferns—
my mother’s face drawn,
searching the coast
for something she lost in winter.
Summer spindles itself against the cliffs,
and my mother is still stuck,
standing in the exact spot
she was in
when the season changed over.
I am stuck too, somewhere between the
fawn and the cove, filled with
bluegreen leftovers of
and my mother’s grip—
tightening as the trees begin
to color themselves.
A horse leads me to water and I cling to his
sides. The sky is yellow as he tells me his
plans to run away, up the Appalachian Trail,
into the Atlantic. I laugh and laugh, wringing
my own hands as his hooves descend into
the silt, algae green and parasitic the further
he gets. I don’t drink, but he inhales long,
gasping mouthfuls of the forest’s backwash,
overflowing with bottles and pine. The horse
and I lead each other home to sleep. A rabbit
sets itself on fire before dawn, oranges and
reds blooming like spring blossoms after a
mist. Its figure remains dark against the loam,
dampening itself into ash when the sun comes.
Its bones are later carried to the stream by a
flock of crows and washed away by rust and
memory. A fog settles in around the hills.
When I wake up, the horse is gone.
A CUPPED PALM
I spend the year in roundness,
an apple carved from your name
waking every day in a blue field,
close to the water. The water is
all I can see,
molded by your hand, thumbing
light along the edges of its brine
while I briefly flicker against the
heat of you.
You tell me that my body is a
river gorge, smoothed, eroded
rounded out in a hollow,
echoing your name between
MARIEL FECHIK is a musician and writer from Chicago, where she works for an educational nonprofit. She sings in the band Fay Ray, and is a music writer for Atwood Magazine and Third Coast Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Fat Magazine, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Noble / Gas Qrtly, and others.