This venom is worse than that
infection, anger inflected
in the toilet’s endless run,
in the stove’s cackling
refusal to light. If you dream
deeply, you can see the other side:
the cast iron perfectly seasoned,
your hair long and young, its silver
cast lavender in the right light.
Even if the milk in the sky is sour,
it will not always be so. Cast your lot
with the living. Love him.
Do not let spite draw you a bath.
Go to bed on gritty sheets
and love him. The nights will brighten.
The house will change shape
and swallow you both. Set the seed
on the sill. Call the monster,
the dark, by its only name:
Emily O’Neill is a proud Jersey girl who tells loud stories in her inside voice because she wants to keep you close. Her most recent work appears or is forthcoming in Sugar House Review, FRiGG Magazine, Paper Darts, The Well&Often Reader, and Weave. Her poem “A Spade, A Spade,” was a finalist in the Gigantic Sequins‘ first annual poetry contest, judged by Nick Flynn. She edits nonfiction for Printer’s Devil Review and hangs her many hats in Somerville, MA. You can pick her brain at http://emily-oneill.com.