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Elisheva Fox

Venus on Fire — Charles Sherman

Elisheva Fox is a mother, lawyer, and writer. She braids her late-blooming queerness, Texan sensibilities, motherhood, and faith into poetry. Some of her other pieces can be found in Touchstone Literary Magazine, 805lit, Screen Door Review, and Allegory Ridge’s poetry anthology.


florida beach water
is a disorienting blue.

i am a child of
the texas gulf,
gray and slick
with iridescent oil.

but here the waves
curl turquoise
and tame at
my feet.

i scoop bone white sand
into new parapets
that crumble
almost instantly.

my children
laugh and laugh
as ocean foam
wreaths their knees.

hands roped together,
saltwater taffy women
walk past us –
they wave
to my husband,
to me.

what a thing
it would be
to swell like the tide,
to flash as clear
as the water here,

so that these
women could see
the riot of violets
splitting my ribs,
the rainbow arch of my aorta.

through their
shielding sunglasses
they see
a wife,
a mother.

my sand castle quietly collapses
into the sea.


what burns more brightly:
the chemical flare
blooming over the oil refinery?

it did not rain
like this
when i was a child.

i worried
about books and softball
and protesting too much
when the boy down
the street
called me a dyke.

i did not worry
about leaving an axe
in the attic
just in case
the floodwaters gulped
up the first floor
then the second.

i brought my sons
into a world
that will need
an ark,

and now i worry
that we bulldozed
all of the olive trees,
now i worry
the dove will learn
rightly from the raven,

now i worry
that there are
no rainbows

for them or for me.