Reenacting the Edda

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.