Elizabeth Theriot

Briseis Dreams of Ships


The sky            is supple          lambskin. Wraps me fetal,

unrolls me

over marble floors. I                burn myself sage,

welcome delphic sighs


into my braids. Slick

as heated fat. I shake arthritic              knobs

of bone and loose


my anchor, plunge

my masts into              water, aqua-

marine eye       that resists

then floods.                 I thirst             for lightning


and the gift

of sight. Body              shudders then              collapses

into the trees

that built it. Golden                 dust diffused

into the nighttime,


holy veins

that run beneath                      the ground. My tongue

drags rocks and moss,

collects hisses

from beneath

dark                 corners of the soil.


A voice erupts

like a vase, like oil        that flames,      I flame into

the sound of my

own                 shatters.


Elizabeth Theriot grew up in Louisiana and earned her undergraduate degree from University of New Orleans. She currently lives in Tuscaloosa, where she is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. Elizabeth works with Black Warrior Review as Nonfiction Editor and with the program as Assistant to the Director. Her publications can be found online in OCCULUM, Tinderbox, Requited, Pretty Owl, and Alyss, forthcoming in Rogue Agent, and in print in The Mississippi Review.

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