Isobel O’Hare is a Pushcart-nominated poet and essayist who has dual Irish and American citizenship. O’Hare is the author of the chapbooks Wild Materials (published in 2015 by Zoo Cake Press) and The Garden Inside Her (published in 2016 by Ladybox Books). She lives in Oakland, California.
the land is indifferent to her
no point in memorizing the rules
they shift like shafts of light across the mountains every time she looks up
the game begins anew
some kind of heartbreak machinery
the jagged lines of the gorge disorient her vision he guides her no more
this is a blue field a weeping ground
every flower born from the rot of a woman
that’s how she is described: a wild girl.
she was a wild girl. perhaps she laughed
too loudly, easily, at the wrong man.
maybe she bragged about living alone,
off-the-grid—that she would never marry.
this ain’t a courtship, it’s a hunting ground,
whether or not you own these acres here.
her body hides in death as it did in life:
in the backseat of a Volkswagen
so the wife, waving goodbye from the porch,
won’t know that she is along for the ride.
only rabbits darting through the brush
know her blood now, they smell it on the dirt,
they taste sweet droplets as they fall with rain
from sheltering lavender. folks say the sky
is bigger here and so impossibly blue.
doctor pushes slender needle
through flesh of back
pppppfishes feel what lake feels
scream coming from own mouth
clichéd on operating table
teeth chatter so violent
almost break like delicate china
body is shuddering earth