Back to Issue Ten.

Baptism

BY ERIN STOODLEY

When my brother pulled me out, 
I wasn’t cold. My breath was blued 

by the light, seeped through boughs 
and singed wings. My calves, blued

from the sleeted wind. And blued,
my tongue withdrew deep, a shank 

meant for the animal separate 
of my body. My throat, in the blue 

of dusk, cut the river. But emerged
a black-bellied fish, stilled in salt. 



Stoodley 10

Erin Stoodley is a student residing in Southern California. Recently, she received first place in Ventura County’s 2014 Art Tales Contest for short fiction and was named a runner-up and finalist in Hollins University’s 2013 Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest. Her poetry is published or is forthcoming in Belleville Park Pages, Cargoes, and Winter Tangerine Review, among others.