From the Inside

by Federica Santini

The year of Christmas in March
we dipped our fingers in sugar and mud
and played at creation with cake.

At night we dreamed of slitting our wrists,
no blood seeping out, as if from a doll
or seeds bred in darkness at Easter:
non-sentient snippets of hair,
curled fingers dry underground,
pink seashells gleaming with poison.

The year of Christmas alone
we waited and waited and waited.
We looked for the first new blooming
of spring.

Federica Santini lives in Atlanta, GA, and teaches at Kennesaw State University. She holds an M.A. from the University of Siena, Italy, and a Ph.D. from UCLA, where she studied poetry and literary translation. A literary critic, poet, and translator, her work has been published in over forty journals and volumes in North America and Europe. Her recent poetry appears in SnapdragonPlath Profiles, and The Ocotillo Review among others. She is a 2021 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Fellow (Arizona State University). Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.