Gretel in the City

Annette Oxindine Click to

oxindineAnnette Oxindine’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Willow SpringsCrab Creek ReviewGulf Coast, RHINOburntdistrict, Painted Bride Quarterly, Winter Tangerine Review, and elsewhereShe is an associate professor at Wright State University, in Ohio, where she teaches 20th-century British literature.


She’ll tell you a story made hungry by woodsmoke,
moondrunk by branches rune-cast on shut blinds.
By the time she gets to you, she’ll taste of tin and brine
and leather, just tugged off.

Along the avenue, pretty eyes, all in a row,
ghost their own leaving in warm fugs of indigo.
Red letters scroll—D E S O L—across islands of breath.
She’s saving her fare for the way back. At daybreak

you’ll blanket a curtain that smells of gristle fat. A sparrow
will peck for breadcrumbs in snow packed hard by the heels you dug in.
When she finally texts your fingers will freeze above that little trash can:
“Tell me who’s scared of finding her way home now. LOL”