Graveyard Shift

Jude Marr

sleep fells me with a sucker punch
to the head: I fall for it
forfeit a waste of days in favor
of elephants dreamed—

a pachyderm herd
gray hides a tracery
trunks a tidal wave of gray—

awake: rays nail me to a pillow: yellow
spreads across my sham. Another damn—

egrets perch, smears of white
on swaying gray—elephants as fodder
for a bird of parasites: tusks
as weaponry—

my lids don’t close: I am nose to nose
with elephant: a tusk nudges
my skull: I am not
my scars, I say—

elephant’s eye-glint
impales. Her ear’s a ragged flap. Scars
are us, she answers back.

Jude Marr is a teacher and PhD student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Black Heart Magazine, Cactus Heart and Cherry Tree among others. Jude received an honorable mention for the 2014 Frankye Davis Mayes Prize sponsored by the Academy of American Poets.

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