Beth Gordon: Blood Salt

Hungover Sonnet: Valentine’s Day


It started with $4 martinis,

with the frozen ocean bringing you home,

with a starved realization that Wednesday

is good as any to swaddle my nerve

endings with whiskey, morning will arrive

in my cold mouth one way or another,

it started with the ninth funeral mass,

another baby who slept and awoke

outside his body so new that the skull

bones had not linked and locked, with a phone call,

my son’s voices returned, living shadows

with copper bones, he tells me talk louder,

with vodka in the second glass, April

snowstorm, with hawks that could easily spot

nestling rabbits against the white-wrapped dirt,

with my car dead on the highway as if

to say, this is journey’s ends, with blood salt,

with hibiscus gin in the third glass, with

a swelling in my uterus, the way

I divided once a month into three

better women, the butcher, the baker,

the candlestick maker, a trail of nail

clippings that even the hamster would not

swallow, with the muddy Mississippi

crawling onto dry ground, circumventing

sand bags, slate, steel, it started with the fourth

glass, with honey mescal and lime, waiting

for you to pull the carpet from its roots.


Disguise the dust with particle board, crack

the eggs, boil the soup, leave the key behind.

Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently living in St. Louis, MO. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize; and her chapbook, Particularly Dangerous Situation, is forthcoming from Clare Songbird Publishing House. She is also poetry editor of Gone Lawn.