Hannah Dow

The Harp Knows How to be Stripped Bare

                Just for tonight, let’s not mock them.  Mary Szybist, “The Troubadours Etc.”

And the fish knows how to be stripped bare.
And the bed. Each feels in the strumming

of its ribs the call for a missing part. A loss
less obvious than death. Like pocket change.

Like drought. Like learning how to not grow
old, as in uncapping the fountain of youth

and casting vapors on the world. So the harp
never buzzes, the fish never grays, the bed never

folds into itself. So the harp lives forever
on a stage. The fish, a chopping block. The bed,

on display in an empty room. And when the sun presses
its thick body against a nearby window—drown

the lights, pull the shades. Let them sing sad music, make
their love to the silence. Allow, at least, this modesty.

Hannah Dow is a PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, where she is an Associate Editor for Mississippi Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Harpur Palate, Folio, and Hawai’i Pacific Review, among others. She also received an honorable mention in the 2015 AWP Intro Journals Project.