Three poems by Elizabeth Threadgill • Empty Mirror

Addisonia / 1902Addisonia / 1902

You Plucked Bees from My Hair

like vibrating seeds
each tells a secret
the trees are singing
the rabbits are drumming
the squirrels are screaming
while the mower
runs in circles your breath
over my eyes
slow roll of cymbals on my skin
your fingers like the roots of trees
with my hair and jaw
the last bee
whispers a secret
about you


In her dream she is glass. How did you become glass, I ask. I died and was buried in sand. Lightning struck the beach, and I was shocked into another existence. How did you die, I ask. While I was sleeping, my grandmother tied me to a string and rolled me into the ocean just before the shore for the crabs to eat. She reeled in my body each time another crab ripped away a piece of me. She placed each crab into a bucket. She did this until there was nothing left for the crabs to eat. She buried the bucket in sand and waited to collect glass roots.


sometimes the desert I left shimmers
like a whale skeleton covered in sequins

the girl who applied powder so thick
her face became a desert—
I imagine the puffer fish
furrowing sculptures scriptures into her face
cactus flowers blooming from the center

cactus is perhaps just a mouth
consuming becoming water like the whale
the fleshy mouth kissing awake
the prince in the desert

About Elizabeth Threadgill

Elizabeth Threadgill holds an MFA in Poetry and a PhD in Developmental Education-Literacy, both from Texas State University. She grew up in Marfa, Texas, and now lives in upstate New York, where she is an Assistant Professor of English at Utica College. She is the author of the chapbook Tangled in the Light (2018). Her poetry appears in Radar Poetry and Transom. For more information, visit

Business Relationships Book