E. F. Schraeder

The Sexton Pill

—for Anne

She dropped unlucky, lovely words of air
with clutched fingers leaking ink.
Half vitamin, half stardust,

delicate, potent witch, brave warrior of the bleak—
let’s feast on the sinewy meat of doomsday
and drink from a briny sea of sorrows.

Such mysterious seductions as hers
require release, an appetite for blood.
Her skin so close to the page I taste tears.

Rhysling-nominated poet E.F. Schraeder is also the author of the Imadjinn Award finalist Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021), the novella What Happened Was Impossible (Ghoulish Books, 2023), a story collection, and several poetry chapbooks. Schraeder’s first full-length manuscript of poetry, The Price of a Small Hot Fire, is forthcoming from Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2023. Schraeder was co-editor of the feminist charity anthology In-Trouble featuring original and reprinted work on themes of bodily autonomy.