About the Feature

Photo by Feral78

And then I met the inverse of my power
which came as cancer

And it whispered open your mouth

And indeed, black spots had sprouted
on my tongue and the insides of my cheeks

And a surgeon from town
had already been hired

And he brought photographs showing how
others had undergone the procedure

How their faces were cut out
then cinched in the center with a drawstring

And how all my ideas, dilemmas, doubts
I held most dear would be erased in five days’ time

And the inverse of love was drought
and the inverse of health was fear

And all my speech and all my power
rotted at the root

About the Author

Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of the poetry collections Best Bones and Darwin’s Mother (fall 2017), both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poems and essays appear widely in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review. She lives in Cincinnati.