I picture Sigyn¹
standing with her bowl,
that child-bride poised
over the bowels of her baby.
No time to grieve, she reaches
for the serpent’s mouth
and milks it until her arms ache.
When I was fifteen, I too learned
to hold a bowl over my lover’s head
for hours at a time. My arms burned.
My lips, worm-white with cold,
said nothing as the rain trickled
down. Back then, love
was the role I had been taught:
No spitting. No fighting.
Just water crusting over a lip,
then dropping off.
¹Sigyn is a goddess in Norse mythology, and the wife of Loki.
EMILY BARTHOLET is a highly caffeinated student at Dickinson College, where she wishes she could major in everything. When she’s not studying, she can usually be found writing under a tree, or, when it rains, curled up in a beloved coffee shop. Her poetry has appeared online and in print, most notably in Third Point Press and Rat’s Ass Review’s ‘Love and Ensuing Madness’ collection.