All in by Annmarie O'Connell

by Annmarie O’Connell

is killing her. I sing this to you once:
killing her.  She is
the bowl of a spoon dripping
tobacco and trailer park,
a roar of diesels
runs over her breastbone.
All the mountains
in my life
are fists of my mother.
I do not waste one drop
when I see her voice taken
out of her body and put
in a stunted star
that always moves
away from me
in a night that twiddles my hair
by the root no matter
where I go. I braid a trail
in the dirty South Side
street. This is a daughter
carving a path off to God
then kicked to her knees—a psalm
hung from her big mouth.
Flag her in
from the dark. Tell her
where to go.


Annmarie O’Connell is a lifelong resident of the South Side of Chicago. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Sixth Finch, Juked, Room Magazine, Verse Daily, Slipstream, SOFTBLOW, Vinyl Poetry, Thrush, Escape Into Life, 2River View, and many other wonderful journals. Her first full-length collection of poems, Your Immaculate Heart, was released with Trio House Press in 2016. Her third chapbook was released last year with Yellow Flag Press. See more at