The body of grandmother inside the stomach of a bird

Slice open the gizzard like an unripe olive,
small and insignificant,
indicating that the bird died
during the summer.
Inside it, a jump-ring, some strands of
long, gray hair, a button tangled in
burnt-orange yarn, shards of
a femur, a tumorous colon.
Unlike bone, fruit and insects
are easily absorbed.

Once infected, the fungus rots
the throat of the swallow, rendering it
silent and depressed.

The body of an insect inside the root of a citrus tree

The roots are limbs
giving birth to fibers,
tangled like feeding tubes.
Excavate the root ball
with all ten fingers.
Inside it, uncover a miniature skeleton,
a pair of fragile wings radiating
in every direction.

The fungi follow the spring flush.
Once infected, a tree may begin
to swallow excessively,
its fibers clogging like straws.

The skin of a woman inside the stamen of a flower

Begin skinning the leg, removing
the follicles and capillaries
until the epidermal shavings are coiling
around themselves. Make symmetrical towers
and admire the way they flower
from the center of emptiness
like an artichoke or agave chihuahuana.

Stitch them together with cellulose.
Paint them a faded cerulean.
Bake them on stones that will
litter the desert floor.



Rosemarie Dombrowski is a poetry editor at Four Chambers, the co-founder of the Phoenix Poetry Series, and the founder of Rinky Dink Press. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in Hartskill Review, The Ginosko Anthology (v3), Anthro/Poetics (an anthology of cultural writings), Stonecoast Review, and elsewhere. She has received four Pushcart nominations—three for The Book of Emergencies (Five Oaks Press, 2014)—and was a finalist for the Pangea Poetry Prize in 2015. She’s currently a Lecturer at Arizona State University’s Downtown campus where she serves as the editor of the undergraduate writing journal and teaches courses on radical poetics, women’s lit, and Lady Gaga.

Logo Orange hq transparent

order / submit