Danaë in the After

by Rachel Roupp

Danaë in the After

She crawls in the corners all day, skirting

the edges of sunlight streaming 

into her windows like rain, like gold, 

like all that is unholy, like the god

who shapeshifted and never knew her name.

 

She sidesteps puddles of sunshine on her floor, 

pulls curtains tight, rips wires out

from behind every socket, every switch,

leaving the light no way to get in.

 

While the other women she knows

lock their doors to the darkness, 

she inverts, roams the night.

She drives to the coast on backroads, 

no streetlights, no headlights.

When she gets to the sea, she runs

naked, bristles her back toward

the motherly moon’s clean, gray light.

White Sage

by Rachel Roupp

White Sage

My mother’s hair turned shock-white

during her second divorce. 

Her hairdresser went to dye

her roots and gently asked,

do you know what’s happened? 

 

Covering patches of gray was one thing,

discovering the bleached-bone 

emptiness was something 

wholly animal and unclean.

 

I knew it was because 

of the almost ex-husband 

who wouldn’t sign the papers or

just die, already. That was the summer

she stopped saying his name.

    

When she moved to the desert,

my mother quit coloring her hair. 

She said she had no one to impress. 

She let her tight curls grow upward,

branching like the sagebrush beneath

the window of her new bedroom.

Rachel Roupp is a poet from the mountains of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Crab Fat Magazine, Chantwood Magazine, Komorebi Literary Magazine, Mind Murals, Persephone’s Daughters, and Rag Queen Periodical, where she serves as the Social Media Coordinator.  Rachel is currently working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University. She just wants Dolly Parton to be proud of her.

Rachel Roupp

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