Page Hill Starzinger

Vortex Street
August 8, 2013 Starzinger Page Hill

Vortex Street


I tied my hands behind me so I won’t hurt you,

but they get loose:  slicing, etching the language of a strange

heart into sweet skin.  You love the holly—knife-sharp

leaves, bloody berries trickling ink-stains.  Looks like

Christmas, or an olde faerytale.

Will you save me?

Or tell me again

about the mud-dauber wasp

nest like a pan flute, laying eggs in a pipe;

and when tuned, larvae break out.

Catch me if you can.  Then repeat:  as

mother.  How would you

raise your child differently,

mine asked.  How indeed.  (Bless the timing of waitresses.)

I’d like to reference

The laws of probability,

but all that comes to mind

is the mud dauber is unlikely to sting,

unlikelier to sing.

Or is it that we just can’t

hear it?

Page Hill Starzinger’s second poetry collection, Vortex Street, is forthcoming from Barrow Street Press. Her first book, Vestigial, selected by Lynn Emanuel to win the Barrow Street Book Prize, was published in Fall 2013. Her chapbook, Unshelter, chosen by Mary Jo Bang as winner of the Noemi contest was published in 2009. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon ReviewFence, West Branch, Pleiades, Volt, and others.