My baby is dark-eyed,
her face like a rain cloud.
She is silent. Above, a hole
in the gray sky leaks smoke.
Our bodies have turned earth
into red mud. We are alone.

I hold her close, but death
is infectious. It oozes up.
The pale cord turns black.
I search for a knife, a sharp
stone, anything I can use
to release myself, to release her.

Rock in hand, I feel around
for the cord, but it’s all gone.


Ellie White holds an MFA from Old Dominion University. She writes poetry and nonfiction. She has won an Academy of American Poets Poetry Prize, and has been nominated for both Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in Crab Fat, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Arcturus and many other journals. Ellie’s chapbook, Requiem for a Doll, was released by ELJ Publications in June 2015. Her first full-length collection is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. She is a nonfiction and poetry editor at Four Ties Literary Review, and a social media editor and reader for Muzzle Magazine. Ellie currently rents a basement in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.