Trio House Press
publishing distinct voices in poetry
since 2012

The Alchemy of My Mortal Form by Sandy Longhorn

Winner of the 2014 Louise Bogan Award, selected by Carol Frost
Sandy Longhorn is the author of The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths, winner of the 2013 Jacar Press Full-Length Poetry Book Contest and Blood Almanac, winner of the 2005 Anhinga Prize for Poetry. New poems have appeared or are forthcoming in burntdistrict, Crazyhorse, Hayden's Ferry Review, Hotel Amerika, The Southeast Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Longhorn holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of St. Benedict. She teaches at Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock, AR, where she directs the Big Rock Reading Series, and for the online MFA Program at the University of Arkansas Monticello. In addition, she co-edits the online journal Heron Tree and blogs at Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty.
I Have Gone Shimmering into Ungentle Sleep


This fever is my tutor. It lectures

scarlet on my cheeks, pale quarter-moons


on all my fingernails, a heart that gallops beneath

the cold sting of stethoscopes unleashed.


I repose & ripen with the weight of secrets,

for I swore an oath to silence.


This bed my penitentiary, though

my chains pointless, cotton-woven. 


Lethargy of limbs another symptom

pressed into the chart. The noise of the pen


blisters the brain. The catheter in the vein

delivers ruination, dreams induced to knock


my damaged crown askew. When I wake, my bones

have been replaced with porcelain, sinew


altered to wire, & my tongue, my tongue

lets loose what once was barred & guarded.

Previously published in Hayden's Ferry Review