Safety Coffin

Lay me at the bottom of the spring
gone stale with August.
Weigh my chest with stones.

Fill the crevices with soil, snip
the cord that runs toward
the churchbell. Look, love—

the sky has not broken.
Look at the way the anthill
builds itself from grains.

You can keep your air trumpets
and the mesh to save my cooling
flesh from insects.

Let the flags stay lowered.
Let the unloved armies come.
I am not afraid of waking

breathless. Even the blowflies
need a place to land and I
will finally warm through to bone.


Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including The Bellingham Review, The Louisville Review, and Sou’wester. She is the author of two chapbooks, Dear Turquoise (dancing girl press) and Creature Feature (ELJ Publications). She serves as managing editor for Cider Press Review.


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