In the Shower, When Your Marriage is Finally Over
by Erin Rose Coffin

Winner, Ruth Stone Poetry Prize

stand still, then spin in small circles.

eyes closed, mouth opened, window cracked.

let water pool in your mouth, push

it back out. unclench your fists.

run your tongue over your teeth.

step out of the glass, in front

of the mirror, in front of the window,

in front of your teeth.

square your shoulders like an outlaw.

when you see yourself, admire the new

gray strands in your hair, the lit golden fuse

of letting go, of setting fire, of forward—

the glamour of the morning-glories,

                    no need for roots, just water

and space and the promise

of returning light.

Erin Rose Coffin holds a Masters of Fine Arts in poetry from North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Maine Review, Raleigh ReviewGulf Stream, Arcturus, Angel City Review, and Punch Drunk Press. She was a 2021 recipient of a residency at Goodyear Arts, and served as an editorial assistant for So and So Magazine. In 2016, she was a finalist in the North Carolina State Poetry Contest, judged by Yusef Komunyakaa, and in 2018, she judged the Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and her cat.