My Sister Wants To Know

When my house burns down,
amongst the sifted
smell of burning things,
my sister says,
I wonder what it means—
her voice a shard.

All the small familiar. I am
without a toothbrush,
the book I was reading last night,
the hand painted dress I wore
when we got married
in the Peninsula Rose Garden. 

I tell her I’m mining
for gold, my own
mountain of ash,
crescents of porcelain,
white pages of poetry.

The stench of memory—

In the shade of a fir tree,
its wings enclose me.

Neil Young’s Harvest,
1972, left chewed,
a melted beast,
what used to be.


Mary SalisburyMary Salisbury’s poetry has appeared in Calyx, and two chapbooks were published by Finishing Line Press: Come What May, and Scarlet Rain Boots. Salisbury was named a finalist in the MacGuffin poet hunt, and for the Orlando Poetry Prize. Mary Salisbury is an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient and a graduate of Pacific University’s MFA in writing program. Salisbury’s short fiction has been published in The Whitefish Review, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, and Flash Fiction Magazine. Salisbury’s essay on writing was featured in Fiction Southeast.