Carved into a birch: the initials BKO,
and a buffalo nickel hidden in the knot.
How pleasing to come across another’s secrets.
Water striders skate the edges of the lake
in which a church is submerged
except for the steeple, which rises—glacial.
I kept it for a long time,
that quartz with the ghost of another crystal
blooming in its glassy depths,
thinking it meant something,
the way a female fetus carries all the eggs
she’ll ever have—an hourglass within her
before she even knows of existence. Outside,
dry lightning. Azalea reaches toward the window,
begging to be let inside.
Natalie Homer is the author of the chapbook Attic of the Skull (dancing girl press). Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Pinch, the minnesota review, Blue Earth Review, Ruminate, Salamander, The Lascaux Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and others. She earned an MFA from West Virginia University and lives in southwestern Pennsylvania.