A Letter Home

by Tonja Robins

On Spain’s southern coast goats come
with iron bells and thick black hooves,
their steps sure along sea cliffs
dotted with pale purple statice.

Below I lie and try to string
cowries on a fraying cord,
my breasts and belly pressing
the flat rock. A severed head

and fins float on the seafoam
while the keening of gulls scrapes my ear,
raw as the crying machine
that pulled your seed from my womb.

Last night I bit an orange
and white maggots squirmed
from its flesh. Tell me again
the careful way to choose.

Tonja Robins lives in Iowa City, IA with her son and four cats.  She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and now teaches literature and writing at a nearby community college. To read her interview with Tania Pryputniewicz, go to Tania’s blog on She Writes.

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