French Sardines

Rosa Lane

After Emily Dickinson’s “Wild Nights — Wild Nights!” (249)

             French sardines arrive from Boston, tin-
plated. Maggie levers her can

at the edge, jacks her hand around the rim
             of hunger’s fulcrum. Silver-

           and nested, their caudal fins swim a sea
of marinade—white salt cured,

in olive oil. Beheaded & gutted         
               by the women of Nantes,
                                                      we lay

                            each body on a soda cracker I have
for days dreamed of. Craving. 

behind each pearly eye, we swim
                up the fish weir, we

along the odic thighs of the Loire,
            in sandy silt we flutter
                                                      our little deaths.

Rosa Lane

ROSA LANE is author of four poetry collections including Called Back forthcoming from Tupelo Press, selected from the 2022 Summer Open Reading Period; Chouteau’s Chalk, winner, 2017 Georgia Poetry Prize; Tiller North, winner, 2014 Sixteen Rivers Poetry Manuscript Competition; and Roots and Reckonings, a chapbook partially funded by the Maine Arts Commission. Her work won the 2018 William Matthews Poetry Prize among other prizes and has appeared in the Asheville Poetry Review, Cutthroat, Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, RHINO, Southampton Review, and elsewhere. She splits her time between coastal Maine and the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her wife.

Art: “You Have Become My Government #3” by Mato Enki, Digital Collage

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