“Tree No. 2” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


First Bite

A song plays on her sepulchered lips,
part machine gun, part symphony,

a heavy hallelujah
as she stands in tall grasses

surrounded by pink
flowers that once welcomed

bees covered in pollen.
She wraps herself in spider

silk, half bird, half mermaid,
knowing she belongs

on her feet and whooshing
through kelp beds on a starless

night, the moon so high,
even her cheeks glow silver.

Isn’t this how it always is,
a woman in a field, alone, glorious,

but in the light of day disappeared
behind a wind-battered tree?

At the depth of her being, her heart
beating the wisdom of sylphs,

self-knowledge begins always
with the first note, the first touch,

a bitten apple held aloft.


Alicia Elkort’s (she/her) first book of poetry, “A Map of Every Undoing,” was published in the fall of 2022 by Stillhouse Press with George Mason University. She reads for Tinderbox Poetry Journal and works as a an editor with Shiversong LLC and also as a Life Coach where she helps people find more joy and peace. Alicia lives in the gorgeous light of Santa Fe, NM and cannot stop praising clouds.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as school psychologist. She enjoys capturing raw single-capture photos of a wide variety of subjects, and learning and experimenting with shooting techniques such as long-exposure and intentional camera movement, as well as with editing methods. You can find Bonnie’s images on the covers of publications such as Ibbetson Street, Poesy Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal, and on the pages of Oddball Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Ember Chasm Review, Beaver Magazine, and Unstamatic. Her works are archived at institutions such as Poets House NYC, Brown University, University of Buffalo, and Harvard University.