2019 Antioch-Frontier Fellowship Winner: Prophecy from the Oracle of Self-Harm by Cassie Garison

All of Cassie Garison’s submission to our 2019 Antioch-Frontier Fellowship blew us away—but this poem in particular stood out with its vivid and meaningful violence, its compact and dynamic lines, its emotional adventurousness. As the winner, Cassie will be leaving to attend Antioch LA MFA’s Summer Residency tomorrow, where they will participate for the next 10 days as a full student in the workshops, lectures, readings and other activities. Congratulations to Cassie and to Antioch for adding their voice to the newest cohort!


 

Prophecy from the Oracle of Self-Harm

My nails are bitten down
to a pulp, ten small berries

leaking red. I carve out

my own eyeball: a tiny planet
falling out of orbit, crystal

ball rolling between the paws

of a cat. I need no tools
to read the future. No knucklebones

or tea leaves, deck of yellowed cards

with tattered faces. The birds
no longer confide in me, so I turn

to my own body, study the curvature

of my spine as it ages. Life-lines
on my palms: threads tugged tight

between a pair of shears. When all else fails

I use my teeth. Uproot
them like radishes, arrange them

in a copper bowl near my feet.

 


Cassie Garison

Cassie Garison currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and graduated from Franklin & Marshall College. They have work published or forthcoming in River Styx, Washington Square Review, Nimrod International, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and others and is currently a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. See more of their work at CassieGarison.com.

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