MUSED Literary Magazine.
Poetry

Mahalia

Phibby Venable

she is beautiful and vague in my bloodline
so I give her warm smoky blood
and study her treacherous life
in snow and however many suns
it takes to die at thirty nine
with childbirth fever
how hard was it for her arms to loosen
on a baby she would never know
the wildflowers leaning
and the trees lush with leaves
how hard to take wing in the morning
when all the noise of the world
made her long to stay
to stand up and carry
her baby to the window
to cool her high temperature
in the familiarity of a soft new sun