What's pink & shiny / what's dark & hard


by Sarah B. Boyle

There’s a rhythm and a lyricism to Sarah’s poems that draw you in from the first. She talks about things like jail and love, blood and friendship, abortion and medicine and sex. These are poems of and about the female body. Linked poems weave a narrative close enough to be a secret whispered on the phone at 2am, full of sustained and blooming image. Read them if you’ve ever loved a woman, particularly if that woman is you. (Porkbelly Press, 2015)

36 pages
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Chapter 6: Waiting Room

for J

This time I sit in the waiting room.

Outside, a star-lobed sweet gum tree occludes the sun.
I read the informational materials.

The forceps are slender
and curve like the swan’s neck when he stretches.
In the picture their tips are hands coming together.
They cup to receive

like a midwife’s palms when she catches a baby.

The curette scrapes the uterus clean.
It is a parfait spoon with a scalpel-edge.
Its hollow bowl expels the placenta.

She felt it sharpen her uterine walls, she tells me.
A cry of steel honing steel.

He removed the speculum and she closed.
The metal pan a metaphor for her uterus.

In the car she is the sweet gum seed.
Her arms and knees are spines from her chest.
Her hair the winged spores fleeing through the window.

I only swallowed a pill but I felt it,



Sarah B. Boyle is a poet, mother, high school teacher, and activist. Her poems and essays have appeared in VIDA, Menacing Hedge, Entropy, and elsewhere. Following the rapes and assaults that ripped through multiple literary communities this past year, she edited a series of essays for Delirious Hem on rape culture and the poetics of alt lit. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. 



The cover is a scanograph made with scattered, wilted peonies. Nicci Mechler is the artist: @wickedlittleheart on IG.



“Chapter 4: One Wednesday” & “Chapter 6: Waiting Room” nominated for a Pushcart in 2015



reviewed via The Hairsplitter by Meryl DePasquale