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Issue 30 poetry

The Girl with a Pearl in Her Wrist

by Kristin Entler

image of the outline of a woman in a high-waisted gown
High-Waisted Gown by John Dowman, Courtesy of Art Institute Chicago

Where the bones meet. Right there below the pinkie’s metacarpal line. She knows it is a pearl because the doctors told her so. A baroque pearl, according to her medical charts. Though notations read that this is a best guess. That the only way to know the anatomy of the joint composite would be to biopsy. Every doctor so far recommends she let them prod into her tender ligaments; she has always refused. It would be an invasive vanity procedure. She would no longer hold her body’s final secret for herself. When cradled in the palm of her left hand, she can feel its glow like a fevered wound. Some nights, her body gives in to this insomnia. Drawn to the duneline empty-handed, she carves a hole only she can fit and, without apology, accepts what she cannot change—

hot white thunder moon
sargassum blooms still soggy
tide swallows body

Kristin Entler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at six months old, and first came out as LGBT+ several years after her diabetes diagnosis at twelve years old. Currently, working toward her MFA in Poetry at the University of Arkansas, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as The Bitter Southerner, storySouth, and Poet Lore among others.