Paige Quinones

Lake Alice on a Sunday Morning

Do you take this man?

Alligators speak
in a guttural language—

their songs advertise
impressive erections.

My dress is white
but the hem is already dirty

and my ring isn’t quite
slipping over the joint.

I push it past, kiss
the reddening skin.

I can’t help but sway
to the lizard tune,

think this is the sound
I’ve been looking for.

Underneath my dress
is a horrid, itchy slip:

mesh made of Spanish moss,
becoming wet and slick.

In sickness and in health?

Dammit, Father,
I’m more than ready.

I take it. I take
this man.

Honeymoon

I half-filled
a goblet with spring water
& placed it in the cavity between

our halves of the bed
we never spoke about it
our cold new bedmate

after some weeks
the silver tarnished
life congealed inside

the water turned fen-like
evaporation left timestamps
a diving bell spider made her home

feasting on fairy shrimp & larvae
she not only ate them
but her own eggs afterward

when she died her exoskeleton
grew brown algae & sank
when we were still newly wed

the stagnant cup leaked
black onto our sheets
I poured the pond out

quinones photo
Paige was born in Portland, OR and grew up in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and Tampa, FL. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2013, and is currently a third-year MFA student at the Ohio State University. She is a Poetry Editor of The Journal. Her work recently appeared in The Boiler Journal, and her poem “Blood Sport” was named a finalist in the 2015 Indiana Review poetry prize. Her work primarily engages with young marriage, female anxieties with regards to family rearing, and her Latin@ family heritage.