Amelia Martens

Cooking in Ashes
October 23, 2018 Martens Amelia

The smile is missing; no joy around the eyes. All the wedding photographs look like strangers, dressed up at the airport. The men smile under moustaches. You wouldn’t understand; this level of side-eye is cultural. There are significant limits to visible happiness. And people still go out, go to the market. Whatever. It’s safe. As safe as New Orleans, or DC. You need to know. There is a fruit stand, where a woman will bloom this afternoon. She will overexpose electric air, a cloud of dust and burnt hair. She’ll move matter from one column to another, a smile and her alarmed wrist.

AMELIA MARTENS is the author of The Spoons in the Grass are There To Dig a Moat (Sarabande Books, 2016), and four poetry chapbooks, including Ursa Minor (elsewhere magazine, 2018). She is the recipient of a 2019 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council; her work has also been supported by the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a SAF fellowship to Rivendell Writer’s Colony. She is mom to two awesome daughters.