Mischelle Anthony

Mischelle Anthony

From the book:

Disease Thief

When she was six,
legend has it
she took smallpox
and missed six weeks
of school.  She took every
disease that year.

She plants an ashen
blossom in my heart
as her porcelain teeth
churn a Duncan Hines brownie.
She keeps an extra pair
in her purse, zip-locked.

My grandmother sits before
blaring car ads then rides
two air-conditioned blocks,
mouths hymns to a god
lost in a Wal-Mart sea
of faces, preening herself
for an automatic, insulated week.

New York is Times Square.
Philadelphia the Wharf.
San Diego has the Zoo,
and Oklahoma a windowless worship,
slicked-down lawns where my childhood
pets rot underground.

My grandmother measures the rain.

When the electricity went out
last winter she cocooned in bed
for three days on hunger strike.  
Iced branches and poles crashed all over town.
Now it's June and she still sees
blackened limbs reach out
through the green.

Jersey Shore

That childhood hotel smell
I thought magical,
but now the ashtray
on the headboard
glints and I know the old
cigarette aroma of the made-over-
the sixties modern wood that manages
to look plastic, the nylon shower curtain
that jelly fishes up my beach-ready leg,
glossy like the sting-ray's belly
in the sunrise, the stray labels
blowing in the sand hills.  
Something about the shore
and my life settles into the waves.
The haunts fade away in the foam
and all I've got-
all I've got
is the sky and the horizon,
not even mine
and it's good.

Mischelle Anthony is Associate Professor of English at Wilkes University.  In addition to poetry, she also specializes in eighteenth-century women writers of gothic and sentimental prose.  Her scholarly edition of the 1807 Lucinda; Or, The Mountain Mourner is available from Syracuse University Press.  Mischelle is founder and coordinator of Luzerne County's Poetry In Transit program that places local writing and visual art on public buses.   

[Line] is a 52 page hand-stitched paper book with spine - $14.00.

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