Melissa Studdard

Glossolalia 8

In the shadow of the severing,

only a stuttering remains

because trauma is a syllable with its

mouth stitched shut. She dreamed the knife

bit the hand that was holding it. She dreamed

the man with the monocle

dropped his eye in the lake.
when she coughs up bullets,

the doctor says her windows

are still painted shut. She dreamed

the nightingale laid its eggs

in her throat. She dreamed the letter
she never sent

was delivered anyway.

Look, she says to the diary,

when the words pull me out of myself,

I stand in the center of them and cry.

Melissa Studdard's publications include the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, as well as short works featured or forthcoming in The Guardian, The New York Times, POETRY, Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, The New Republic, Ms. Magazine, Academy of American Poets, New England Review, Psychology Today, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. She has received The Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, and the REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award, among others. As well, her work has been noted in many best-of lists, such as Cutthroat’s Best Books of the Year, January Magazine’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bustle’s “8 Feminist Poems To Inspire You When The World Is Just Too Much,” and Amazon’s Most Gifted Books.