Self-Portrait in a Red Mylar Balloon Tied to a Mailbox

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Diane Seuss's poem, "Self-Portrait in a Red Mylar Balloon Tied to a Mailbox," first appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review's Spring 2015 issue. 

Behind me the remains
of the cinderblock tabernacle
and behind me the west-leaning house
with a red dirt floor

and a stop sign on fire
and a horse with red foam
on its lips galloping past

and Rhonda with the rusty birthmark
on her neck who could lasso anything
and Rick playing the twelve-string
in his red trailer with his waist-length hair
and Ellie pregnant with his baby,
her red belly button turned inside out

my beet-colored hair blown over my eyes
my mouth, bloody as if recently beaten

and when the wind blows the balloon closer
all I am is wounded mouth

when I open it, I can swallow the town

Read more Michigan Quarterly Review Poetry in our Archives.