Stacia M. Fleegal



The veil finally lifts, and                      I am the dead
un-bride surrounded by so many I
never knew loved me. Birds do not sing,
but make a solemn, deferential ring
around the finger of earth                    I am to wed.
They are all here, and then                  some—deathbeds
are unmailed letters, are virgins showing skin.
Former lovers dot the crowd, hate themselves
for remembering my      thighs at a time        like this,
while hazy could’ve-      beens conceive        my kiss.
Friends say shimmering things before           dissolving
like my world: suitcase, scissors, saliva,
happenstance,           bodies           of water and flesh,
books, amethyst. Even my hundred thousand
parents are here to give me away again
to a



It’s taken you a microcosm of
a lifetime to forge a chalice large
enough for what you need—not eye of newt,
only tongue of oracle.
feather stalk, hollowed to suck the hawk
tears when they rise to the top.
only two palm fronds bound with your
dead mother’s hair—it keeps growing—waft
the purpling licks of smoke to your face.
decorative air. Bottle the draught, leave the pot,
wait as long as you can stand, then
the potion, pick up the prettiest shard,
cut out and plop in your own beating heart.                               Intone:

there is no certainty;                      I make my own.


Stacia M. Fleegal is the author of Versus (BlazeVOX 2011), Anatomy of a Shape-Shifter (Word Press 2010), and three chapbooks, most recently antidote (Winged City Press 2013). Poetry recently appearing or forthcoming in Best of the Net 2011, North American Review, Fourth River, Mud Luscious, UCity Review, Barn Owl Review, Lunch Ticket, Stone Highway Review and others. Honorable mention in Crab Creek Review 2013 poetry contest, nominated for Best of the Net 2012, two-time Pushcart nominee. Co-founder and co-editor of Blood Lotus, journalist, blogger and book reviewer of regional poetry for the York Daily Record/Sunday News in York, PA.


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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014