by Ana Pugatch

She parts the velvet curtains,
her face a chrysalis moon.
Sloughs off false skin.

The eye of my mother
the eye of my other floats
out of focus,

crisp veneer eclipsed by
fir trees as she thinks to step
out of frame.

The light might catch a finger,
an ear, the swollen nodes
of her throat.

Firefly, black-eyed resolve,
a ball of bundled nerves.
To refract,

to metastasize. Engram, mirror,
hand. No longer her,
a woman

you once helped out of
the tub. Fractured

Lean in close and you
will hear a shallow


Ana Pugatch is an MFA candidate studying poetry at George Mason University. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Skidmore, and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. Her work has been published in The Esthetic Apostle, PØST-, Cagibi, Bangalore Review, and Foothill Poetry Journal, among others. 

Image: To the Moon 1 by Ernst Barlach, Germany, 1924.
Davis, Bruce. German Expressionist Prints and Drawings: The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989; Munich, Germany: Prestel, 1989.