Stand in front of the mirror.
Use your index finger to lift
your left breast; let it fall.
Checking for elasticity, do it again.
Index all the adjectives he uses to describe you.
Pluck the one that seems most false,
use it back in a complete sentence.
Fake left, pass right.
Stock up on compliments
from strangers in pea-coats, boys at the bar,
local performers, that one old lady
at the post office, baristas with blonde hair,
Tennessee women who coo yes, yes, you—
ration them carefully;
cans of beans in the apocalypse.
Where did it all start, this trouble?
Ask this endlessly.
Trace the origins of certain demise
like bloodlines; as old as Ellis Island.
Resist the temptation to fall to your knees
and beg his forgiveness.
Or do.
Do fall down
and moan.

last line from Amy Gerstler’s “Crown of Weeds”


Erica Anderson-Senter writes in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pieces have appeared in Tinderbox Poetry Journal and the upcoming issue of Midwestern Gothic. Her chapbook, seven days now, was published by The Dandelion Review. Erica holds an MFA in Creative Writing through the Writing Seminars at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont.