the mathematics of suspension
occurs in resurfacing, piecing together the
pieces, the wood of the tree, sleeping
through November’s extra hour,
the Scorpio moon, mind lathered in soap
and the unholy trinity: snakebite, basil,
fallen leaves, the end of the equation
a question mark.

the theory of regeneration occurs
beneath the surface
a clockface with no hands, a death-wish
tucked up my sleeve
for the descent, the drifting,
the stillness of a body witnessing
life beyond the water’s screen.

what is rose and what
is the thorn? why bother breathing
if it only takes the wind to bend my knees?

Heather Bartel

HEATHER BARTEL is a writer with roots in Missouri who currently lives and works in Athens, GA. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College.

Contributions by Heather Bartel