Black Walnut–Alisha Bergliot

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—for Larissa Szporluk

She’s an engine in a field
of stones, cut from her hull
like space-age meat.

Wires twist within
the pod where she invents
hair, a vein, a limb.

She will grow a body
like his. The fingers she fell
from, like a severed phantom,

will be reassembled in her
radical cells where steam
rises from tubes and stitches.

His lightning shot, his child
bride with swollen gut,
feet bound with tails,

he labeled her parts
for death. She spurt black
juice like an octopus,

tangled her belts beneath
her, sunk without water.
She bit through the sand

with her beak made of shell,
plaiting the earth
with her long, red stems.

Her pulse revs electric
under a plain bonnet
of mad scientist thoughts.

She looks like a rock
that is staring at God,
and she will rise faster,

far taller than him.


Alisha Bergliot received her double BA in English Literature and Writing at Taylor University and her MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry from Bowling Green State University, where she studied with Larissa Szporluk. During her graduate career, she received a BGSU Devine Poetry Fellowship, judged by Jane Mead, and gained a scholarship to attend the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference to study with Brenda Hillman.  Bergliot was a semi-finalist for the Indiana Review Poetry Contest. Her poems recently appeared in Cicada Magazine, and she was selected to be a featured poet on Cicada’s website. She leads a poetry program in her community.

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