Alyx Chandler

Michelle Boisseau Poetry Prize Finalist Poem

In My Grandmother's Jaw

Difficulty is a fork in the belly of a shark

 

and I’m both   utensil and wild thing

 

a finned girl ready to feed     

 

glowing

 

at a table lit by teeth.

 

 

Below our fins             everything else           

 

watered down                                       and clinging to kelp

 

the kitchen alive with the slick skin of my mother

 

 

teaching me how. I yell above to the ship of green ghosts: trash us out loud

 

or close the sea up for good. Sharks are hungry

 

just like everyone else

 

I’m done drowning

 

in the devouring

 

 

armored with purpose

 

underwater etiquette.              These are gills ready

 

for the death-grip serenade

 

the playground of fins

 

 

yes       I will thrive in the pressure

 

I will clean the teeth of my decisions

 

take off the hinges                of the ocean door.

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Alyx Chandler (she/her) is a writer from the South who received her MFA in poetry at the University of Montana, where she taught composition and poetry. She is a publicist for Poetry Northwest, a reader for Electric Literature, and former poetry editor for CutBank. Her poetry can be found in Cordella Magazine, Greensboro Review, SWWIM, Anatolios Magazine, Sweet Tree Review, and elsewhere. Learn more at alyxchandler.com.

Bear Review

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