The Boiler

Danielle Susi

Black fossil in a slab of shale

In a river you come upon a coil

             What have you of my spilled right lung?

Make a threshold whiter and wider

              Was finding my vessel in ash not enough?

Bury me further. Build a pyre

               above the mound

Set the final vision of me ablaze

               There is no impending phoenix rising.

Silhouette is smolder

               They’ll call me cretaceous, metamorphic,

Gesture. Most mornings, I cry for you.

               They caged my head, fully aquatic. Shook me.

Shook my brain. Filled me with all the properties of a stone

                sifted from the stream. But I am no gold. I am charcoal. No.

Anthracite. To draw. To draw a flame.


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Danielle Susi is the author of the chapbook The Month in Which We Are Born (dancing girl press, 2015). She is a columnist for Entropy, the co-editor of HOUND, and the Programming and Media Coordinator for the Poetry Center of Chicago. Her writing has appeared in Knee-Jerk Magazine, Hobart, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Newcity has named her among the Top 5 Emerging Chicago Poets. Find her online at daniellesusi.com