My Imaginary Daughter Asks for a Brother but one phantom is enough, don’t you think, darling? She splashes water out of the tub in response & I find tiny fish, maybe minnows, swimming in each puddle. Little biospheres. I show her how to scoop the water off the floor in pails. She shows me her fingernail & tells me a butterfly once lived in it. The steam in the room makes our words sound factoried like plum or rhubarb jam. Like something forgotten in the cupboard. I make clouds out of my laugh, open a window & watch for migration patterns to change.
From the author: I wrote both of these poems last summer. I work at a public library and each summer we have a reading program. It gets very busy, and the majority of shifts I worked that particular summer were spent checking in dozens and dozens of children’s books. I think there is something magic about picture books, and the imaginary world they can exist in. I wanted these poems to live in that same world, too, and have a little bit of that magic.
Roseanna Alice Boswell is the author of Hiding in a Thimble (Haverthorn Press, 2021) and Imitating Light (Iron Horse Literary Review, 2021). A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Roseanna holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University and is a Ph.D. student in English-Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University. Her work has appeared in: RHINO, Whiskey Island, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Originally from upstate New York, Roseanna currently haunts Oklahoma with her husband and their cats, Bean and Blossom.