Jennifer Marteli

All Night I heard breaking

Jennifer marteli


Granite blocks broken off into the harbor. Shale
slivers washed up on the shore. The oaks’ ulnae cracked 

beneath ice coats. I heard bone

cold as my mother’s ribcage beneath
her nipples. Heard bone dance: her ankle strap

spike heels, the tiny claw clasp of the fox wrap, all glassy and

frozen, the onyx fox eyes.  This was the Advent of the illuminated

pentacles on chimneys and roofs in town: stars
big as a small body and left up

well past Epiphany. I hope

they stay up, hope to remember to snap off five

sticks next year. Ma’s cold

cold ribs, her string of real mother of pearls, the cameo
set in a white gold bezel, the woman with wavy hair

carved onto a shell’s nacre, long fake nails like hooves
tamped down in the silk box.

Jennifer Martelli’s poetry has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Rogue Agent. Her reviews and essays have appeared in Glint Literary Journal, Drunken Boat, and Gravel. She is a recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry and is an associate editor for The Compassion Project. Her first full-length poetry manuscript, The Uncanny Valley, is forthcoming this spring from Big Table Publishing Company. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts