An Irretrievable Serenade

Sarah Arnett


Amy eats frankincense for dinner
and lets the worry tang like iron on her tongue.
Behind her back, they call her a hurricane with muddy eyes
and fishhook lips—
No, fishhook hips—
No, fishhooks in the way she sneers
and bats her eyes,
fishhooks in her fingertips
and her gravelly voice.
When the Sirens got laryngitis,
could they still lure sailors to their deaths?


There’s a broken-down radio in your kitchen, Amy,
but it only plays one song.
Amy drives 70 miles per hour on snow packed roads
just to feel the fishtail spin out under her,
lets herself believe that the black ice
is just water,
says it isn’t her fault when the ambulances
come running.


Amy can tie a knot in a cherry stem without using her teeth,
can count the stars on the backs of your hands,
can fall asleep without a lullaby,
but only sometimes.
Other times she can’t remember her name
until she rummages through crumpled papers to find
the B+ math test she took last year
with it scrawled on the top
like a prayer.
Amy doesn’t just sing to us,
she drowns us and eats us alive.



SARAH ARNETT is a senior creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy. Her work has been featured in The Interlochen Review, The Red Wheelbarrow, and The Albion Review. She was the winner of the 2014-2015 Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest, and she has also received several accolades from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, including two Gold Keys, two Silver Keys, and two Honorable Mentions. She has also been an editor for The Red Wheelbarrow and The Interlochen Review.


Documentation of Process