by Susan V. Meyers

There are so many ways of saying a word
it’s a wonder we understand anything.

I could say Mother, and you would hear
tides pressing in. A glass boat, the rough edges of reef.

Darkness, I could say, or Guilt,
and the rain would find you: brass knobs

insistent on rooftops; some hurricane
from another life. Shelter, but you know already

these mad, expectant wolves.
Warning, I whisper.

Warning, Mother. But you’re listening
to your own slow, hungering heart.

Susan V. Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently teaches creative writing at Seattle University. Her work has appeared in journals such as CALYX, Dogwood, Rosebud, and The Minnesota Review, and it has been the recipient of several awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship.