Really, my ship, the body,
came into the fire before
the pain of it made sense,
before the wood became

heavy with flame and flame
became mine. Really, the body
looked into the mirror,
saw the red ruddy eyes, char

lumping over the abdomen
like prison bars. The body
looked into the prison bars,
then ate the flame anyway,

and anyway, the flame
was made for the thin, taut
flesh of the ship. Ship or sail.
I can’t remember which

because aren’t they both
extending in the direction
of the same island? The wood
of the ship came from an island,

where the women were spines,
thin-armed, dark-skinned, and danced
along a bed of coals. No troubles.
The men watched them, really

watched them, ceaselessly
through the smoke coughing
from the fire that roasted
a billygoat, which no woman

would eat. The flame on the fire
came from logs that were fat.
The billygoat was meaty. Fat.
Not that for eating. I was eating

the salt water from a nearby inlet.
The men brought me leftover logs.
They said it made for a good house.
It made a thick house. If houses

were barraged by a storm, mine
would have more left than the rest
at the ending when the sun peeked
into the remnants of sticks and bones.

About the Work

Bayleigh Fraser

Bayleigh Fraser is an American poet currently residing in Canada with her husband and two children. She studied English at Stetson University and plans to continue her education in Canada. Her poetry has appeared in Motley Press, The Social Poet, and elsewhere. Bayleigh is the editor of Caesura Poetry Magazine, an electronic magazine that publishes new and emerging poets. You can find her online here:

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