it should have been a sign by McKenna Themm

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what if the velvet curtains started
what if the marble statue lifted her
fingertips to her cheek
what if the piano held a low
B flat and wouldn’t let
it go
what if each stone of the diamond necklace
softened and turned
back into coal.

when the woman locked in the
yellow wallpaper
pushed aside the bars
and leapt out into the hall
when the thumping heart
beneath the floorboards
shriveled up and turned to dust
when the bottles of cherry wine
swirled like tops
until their contents dissolved
back into water.

how could I have known
I would melt into the wall, pulled back by my hair,
strapped in by my wrists, tied down by the
carpet winding up my legs
and screaming, screaming,
until the piano, droning on,
drowned out my voice.

McKenna Themm is an MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry student at San Diego State University and the managing editor at the Los Angeles Review. Her poems have been published by The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Poet, Bryant Literary Review, pacificREVIEW, 805 Lit + Art, Luna Luna, JMWW, and The Stray Branch.


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