Elizabeth Vignali: “Shoal”
It starts with the hemistich hitch in her step.
A henchwoman’s tell, regret stopping up the gait
with sediment. This moon’s stepdaughter can’t keep
swindling tarot cards and sneaking roofies
into her own whiskey-gingers, back tattooed
with bedsheet creases from sleeping till noon.
But she hates hesitation the most. Bring it back or don’t:
the bar’s blurry disciples, whispered skirmish
of kisses, the fingertips brushing the strings
secret as any affair. This mystery has outstripped
a thousand others: that she will still prostrate
herself for muchness. She will shove aside
her heretic intuition and angle into the swivel-hipped
wind, shrug her shoulder through the neck
of her sloppy blue dress, a shoal emerged
from the ocean, heart bare no matter the tide.
Elizabeth Vignali has had poems in various publications, including Willow Springs, Cincinnati Review, Tinderbox, Natural Bridge, and Nimrod. Her chapbook, Object Permanence, is available from Finishing Line Press.