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Endoskeleton in Amber

Threat looms like the bite
of a varying hare. What is there to know
about the way I have remixed hope into something
that resembles my own inconsolable
and yellow-toothed winter?

There is little beyond that emptying estuary,
an audience unkempt and readied
in its seasonal blaze, a downward kneel
of spiders dizzy with gold.

What is left is my famous doubt.
I would like to say that I have escaped
with more than a skull to spare, lucid
at a moment’s notice, an unfathomable
and fresh dress,

its bottom flare hemmed with an antique lace.
But I don’t have such riches at hand, only
grandmother’s damasks and a skirt scrubbed
with milk soap to fold in a rosewood chest.
I promise, instead, to be resinous,
to spin what is acidic.


Stephanie Kartalopoulos is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing
and Literature at the University of Missouri.