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The Jonah

Susannah Morgan Jones

The signs started small: my mother's perfume bottles
scudding across the dresser, the kitchen lamp

slanting on its three brass chains. My father's potions
leaned in their burled decanters.

Whispers bloomed in me like chickenpox.
My brother had to be lashed into his bed.

The roar in the walls rose with the mercury.
I opened the closet door. Seawater

spewed out the corpses of Strawberry Shortcake and Friends.
The carpet's dried-blood flowers came alive.

I staggered across the slope of the kitchen floor,
shouting to them through my surgical mask.

The basement door battered open. I teetered over
a bedlam of water and dark. Behind me: God himself

could not sink this ship. They said.
And shoved me overboard.


Susannah Morgan Jones