​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

sarah shields​



Sofa Bones


A garbage truck hungers up the street, forklifting waste bins to its mouth. I cast worms to heaven, hook my eyes into its tender skin.

What animal’s blood flows─blue to black─above that flap of healing sky scabbed over with paramedic clouds? A damned shame: I’ve gone and punctured the poor thing’s swollen belly.
Silver blood hits my roof. Hear it? 

My body is a sofa on this rotted porch. Swatches of gaudy fabrics laid across my arm: how will you reupholster me? Scissors are what you need─no silly seam ripper. Cut into my puffy arms and legs. Knock off my wooden feet. Peel away my ragged fabric, roll it up, and toss it. Chunk out my stuffing, lifeless cotton lambs. My stripped limbs sleep. Crack them. Watch their luminescent marrow wake.

Bright as ever, I am yours to remake. 

But I am not yours, really. I am my own incomplete project─a sofa of hazardous rearrangements, comfort and good faith wormed out of me. The garbage truck curls into my cul-de-sac, and I heave myself to the curb. Rain floods my cracks, soaks my meatless cushions, and drowns my threadbare floral-print dress. 

As my body is lifted, I clutch a sample of silver-blonde hair dripping salt and seablood from the invisible animal in the sky who drinks from the earth and bleeds. Do you hear it?






Sarah Shields is a writer and illustrator living in San Diego, CA. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Spider, Underneath the Juniper Tree, Commonthought, Cheap Pop, and Berfrois. She was a finalist for the 2015 Berfrois Poetry Prize. You can find her on Twitter: @saraheshields.