Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
 
The Annotated Alice
Kryssa Schemmerling

I re-read Alice in Wonderland
on the roof in my bathing suit
the summer you burn. 106 degrees.
You count backwards for nurses
to assure them your brain
still works. A genius, even
at fevers, you rise
out of my reach. I sink deep
into footnotes, learn

how felting fur in clouds
of mercury vapor
made hatters mad. Made
their fingers shake. Sun works
slow damage on my skin
as it addles my Alice page
into visions: hatters spin
quicksilver into thread, sew rabbits
into hats with stitches
that tremble and glow.

I re-read Through the Looking Glass
years later, try to decipher lines
in mirrors that summer left
on my face. (I burned
for you but never learned
how to tell temperature
by touch or what made
your fingers shake
when you undid me.)

About Kryssa Schemmerling

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