Space Cowgirl by Madeline Augusta Turner

i am not an extraterrestrial. i am
leather-sewn and blistering

detritus at the cusp of an Appalachian summer, that kind
of amber decay hemmed with fungus and arrogance. here

i am safe, knowing that
the fruit the apricot tree could not hold is still light incarnate

lying sun-warm on the ground, rotting
to become new. the astral is a body too, and two

nights ago when i slept
next to my mother in her lover’s bed she told me

she didn’t know it would be like this, told me
that when the line is drawn

in my mind, the line of decomposing honeysuckle
cast aside and fractured, dissociated

nuggets of coal held together
sharp with multi-flora rose, to touch

the last place my feet hit the ground. it’s okay
to disappear from your body, i think–

we leave this world briefly, melting
to protect ourselves. what lies beneath

the sun and the dirt are no farther
than my hands, and enough

 

Madeline Augusta Turner prefers to be covered in glitter. Currently living in Northampton, MA, her heart is always somewhere at the intersection of industrial decay and endless cornfields. Madeline has received a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the Smith College Elizabeth Babcock Prize for Poetry. In 2022, she was also a Kenyon Writer’s Workshop participant. Say hello anytime at madelineaugustaturner.com.

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