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Sophie Hall

Two Poems

Sophie Hall


Nine months I held the unknown. This body

a secret from itself until ululating, bones bending

in on themselves I became a warbled bumpy

thing clothed in my mother’s revelation: that she

did not have a mother, that the red flags are not red

because she has not seen her own blood. All

these sorries, sorrows. There are wings in the Walmart

aisles, black or gold, football colors of steel turning hollow

and animal. A woman asks this room of women

to show pronouns with our fingers: we show the “I”

easily, a single index finger pointing up. She wants a “you.”

The mass of index fingers curves downward just a little,

upside down version of the letter. This is also called an owl.

And, just for fun, we make a pronoun for ourselves—how about an “A”?

The index fingers bend sharp at their uppermost segments.

“Some people might find this one offensive, even,

but for us, it’s sexy.” This body keels over, morning sickness

of nine months draining in a millisecond this body

betraying, my parasitic fear of raw fish centered in the same place

some people see love. So much blood. So much of my

mother I see now, that even she could not see I have seen

my grandmother’s face in the mirror since I could see

myself. The anguish is over as soon as it starts I think maybe

it never happened at all. On occasion I remember,

verklempt, something I belong to is missing, something

that left me seam-ripped, some breath that should

be directing my own air gone. Solace shows up in a small

kitten padding through the screen door I know—this must be my heart.

But a misshapen pink bundle appears more suddenly, fleece soft in my

arms, this is something else, this is a thing to care for, this may

be the heart, but it doesn’t beat doesn’t cry I left it in the car.

In the other room. On the mud-caked floor. Two puppies enter 

my field of vision and I calm—these are my hearts. But the

pink bundle is missing again I take them outside leashed

to look for the thing I don’t understand.

Dog Daze

She left speaking of agnosis.

                                                          Tention. Order. Line. Ficit.

She missed the south, so went east.

How escent—the headlights?

                                                          Motel room?

Wrecked the car as a joke, near-

                                                          life experience. I

stayed behind to tell of the

ruptured metal, made eye contact at the dog park.

Hid when the old man got close. Me, left-behind

mutt of the joke, can’t even fess up, not mine to con,

arms weighted with gigantic beanie baby poodles.

Ide of the road.

Meanwhile she’s off.

Insoluted walls. Suspected ar-son.

Dog loans, heavy paws: Great Sane,

                                                          Sane Bernard. Man, husband, steaming


Driving to avoid sisters forming on her heels.


                                                          I wasn’t even close.

Estimated time of rival: take the strong way home.




Yorkie yips on old rocks. 

In years, triagnose.

Peractivity. Matic. Tresses. 

Left in the month of leaving,

                                                          birth-dog gift, dog death,

copper kiss of trucker’s breath.

Left to go right again,

right which is wrong.


Uncourage questions

                                                          from the basement.

Sophie Hall writes about homes and fears, especially where the two overlap. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Yalobusha Review, Passengers, Outpost19, and MAYDAY, among others. These days, Sophie is most dedicated to her dream journal. Find her online at

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