La Tarantata

by Claudia Cortese


Ferns unfist when she passes, crows blacken
above her: a sky of wings and omen.
She rubs pine needles on her cheeks, cellos weep
in the trees. I’ve named her One of Many

Who Canters the Stars: She Who Will Not Speak.
When you go out at dusk, dip your bucket in the well,
she’s the shadow at your eye’s corner, the smudge
in the field, breath rustling your hair.

She pours milk in our mouths, hushes the village to sleep.
Her bones unglued but not unsung, she spins
and death, with joy, receives her veils: her prayer

of stone and snow. My sister, my killer,
show me your veins, your flame, your tarantella—
the tornado that will tear us together.


Read Claudia Cortese’s Epithalamium

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