Elizabeth Sochko

Garden Rumor

If someone asks how you arrived, act surprised.

Act as if you have something

worth giving. A paper bag full of oranges

is an orchard. Is a place you must live in

livable. You sleep there. With someone

watching. You crawl backwards into the pool

at dusk. You pick yarrow for no reason

and impatiently. Think of home

with obvious longing. Your secrets grow

limbs here. Near the nettles, snakes.

Your white dress sways at the entrance.

It is not quiet, but you want to be quiet in it.

It is not empty, but you will bear nothing there.

When it is dark, you can still move in this darkness.

Field Notes 03

In the dream, I shoot a bird. You shoot
a bird. Torn like pulled taffy. The body,
the after-exhaustion. My muscles
don’t ache in place. Meaning, I’m used
to this surveillance. In the dream,
we lay motionless in a manicured garden.
All charm and moral code. In the cold
morning, a cardinal. In the days before
this one, we mistake the fountain
for shelter. Iron so ornate you could slit
your eyes on it. You could spill and spoil
right near the marigolds. The azaleas.
The poppies!


Elizabeth Sochko is a writer from South Carolina. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, where she worked as a poetry editor for LUMINA. She lives in New York.