ella bartlett


Sickness is a song in March. Bibles

are brigades lined up on shoulders

and lies, they are believable. Iowa: leave

me alone, and I won’t have to keep

leaving you, or keep you from biting

the sides of the next pink quilt baby

my friend left in her car. All part of

the inescapable fits of a short half-life. We

forget the oaks at their birthplace,

seething the concrete and waiting

for the echinacea to flower or to be

ripped out of the ground by a child.

For the bicycles to run over the weeds

in the cracks of the sidewalk, carnage

and carnival. Sky in bitters. Trust

I will lift off the lid, watch some foreign

insect fly out.

Ella Bartlett (she/they) is an Iowan-born, New York-educated, Paris-based writer and translator. The recipient of the Gigantic Sequins Poetry Award of 2021, judged by Arisa White, Ella’s work has been published, among others, in Jet Fuel Review, decomP Magazine, Necessary Fiction, and Rust + Moth. For more, follow @EllatheRewriter.