Testing

In Craft, Poetry by

A selection from our “Isolation” call for submissions.
By Madeline Sault

Photo illustration by Scott Beaubien

Photo illustration by Scott Beaubien.

Crowded stalls slant back and forth.
Crooked teeth leer
hiding cavities inside.
Feet tap absently on either end,
feet in between stand still.

Freckled forearms rest on freckled thighs.
Restless fingers chip
halos
into painted nails.
Mouth mumbles
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy wo—
NO WOMBS.

Eyes wander pointedly
and scrutinize cheap walls.
Craters of rust match nails made holy
through no fault of their own.
Eyes follow freckles
avoiding their true target
and the 60 seconds ticking by.

Mama cries through memory’s window
clutching at a golden cross
balling soaked tissue against shaking thighs.
Lips form Blessed again as stomach clenches
no.
Not blessed.
Timing determines what is and isn’t blessed.
Now is not the time.

NO WOMBS screams mind
as lips continue
promising to virgin queens.
NO WOMBS screams mind as
tick
tick
tick
turns prayer and thought to one.

tick
tick
tick
as heartbeat does or does not multiply
and fingers do or do not shake
and mind does or does not concentrate
on butterflies that might have substance.

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Madeline Sault splits her time between serving as a Virginia Tech resident advisor and triple majoring in business information technology, creative writing, and professional writing. While she enjoys getting involved with community events, she also loves creating a space that is all her own in writing. “I love writing fiction at night because I’ve just come in from a full day of inspiration — snippets of conversation or things I’d read that make great fodder for stories,” she says of her creative process. Her recommendation to readers is “Privilege of Being” by Robert Hass


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