All in by Laura Romeyn

by Laura Romeyn

The jeep with its soft-top up

shreds past two small girls.


They are rushing the tallgrass

in matching violet nightgowns.


Wisconsin late summer.

Sun going down,


day like a bobbin

so warm. The air drags


low, circles its holdings

drifting there, then back


above. One of the girls,

the smaller one,


she kneels just in front

of the rhododendrons.


She has found something

in the green. A mid-section


undone, scratched open

to loosebelly softened


to the arbor of bone.

Grazed remains.


The lanes of the rib cage

carry their sidemeat,


fixed as the cold

of a silent and empty nave.


Put it in my hand

the older sister says,


and the younger one

reaches down and does.


Laura Romeyn is the author of Wild Conditions, winner of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship (forthcoming spring 2019). A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University (2015-2017), her poems have appeared in AGNI, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Ninth Letter, and The Yale Review, among other journals. She lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.