Phoenix Redux—Kerri Konopka

She kneels in the dirt
and digs herself a grave.
Inside is her favorite lipstick,
her baby teeth, the bloody
her college degree,
grandma’s pearl earrings,
the dried roses from
her thirtieth birthday,
a bottle of Cabernet.

She walks clockwise
around the circle, leaving
flowers in her footprints,
crawls on hands and knees
down into the damp
soil. The earth worms remember
the shape of her organs,
the spaces between her
ribs. They gather mouthfuls
of dirt and begin their burial.

Her bones snap and
the sun goes dark.
Lightning shoots white
veins down through 
the shadows.
Between the flashes
of a blinking sky
the dirt loosens on
the swelling mound.

A hand sprouts
like a black rose,
fingernails cut and clean,
flexed and reaching
for the light.

Kerri Konopka is a writer from Long Island, New York who is currently living in South Carolina. She earned her BA in English-Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and is currently pursuing her MFA at Lindenwood University. Kerri also owns a spiritual counseling business with her husband that focuses on holistic healing and energy work. Kerri is a gifted artist and a cat lover. Her poems have been featured in the Penman Review, the Ekphrastic Review, and Black Moon Magazine.

photo by Jackson David (via unsplash)