First Flood by Emily Osborne
That evening was a solvent, through our windows everything finishing in blue: garden, hemlocks, the metal-on-bone rake you swung to tissue earth. Evening was like floods rising, a lake lapping glass. From the room behind my shoulder, the apricot lamp spotted the pane. A moon climbing too early over water.
For dinner, you prepared wineless bread. An egg over-boiled until its yolk crumbled. Bowls swelling from the table like unfilled bellies. My spoon scooped arid roots, the day’s thirst. Knives scraped, saw-toothed, recalling chair-legs without casters, scarring the hush from the stethoscope.
Before the blood, we dug tubers from the garden, but my palms tore on shapes harder. “These bones are my mother’s. If we throw them over our shoulders we’ll re-seed the soil.” But when you raked the earth again, they were stones. I heard you whisper thinly, as though to broken pottery in the cupboard, “New life won’t grow where you grew.”
Emily Osborne is the winner of The Malahat Review’s 2018 Far Horizons Award for Poetry. Biometrical, her debut chapbook, was published by Anstruther Press (2018). Her poetry has appeared in CV2, The Malahat Review, The Literary Review of Canada, The Antigonish Review, Minola Review, and elsewhere. She earned a PhD in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature from the University of Cambridge, and her full-length book of Norse poetry translations, Quarrel of Arrows, is forthcoming from Junction Books. Emily serves as a poetry editor for Pulp Literature. She lives with her husband on Bowen Island, BC.
You can follow her on Twitter @emilyasbjorn