As A Fire Blazes in The Notre-Dame Cathedral

OTTAVIA PALUCH

            after Sharon Olds

 

It hangs in its cell, a purple-headed inmate

strangled by prison linens.

It moves when he moves, a police dog

in primal heat, frothing at the mouth, coarse hair

matted by semen and sweat — and every morning

in his presidential bed, it stands up

for the anthem, and he aims it

like a missile.

OTTAVIA PALUCH is a disabled high school student who lives in Ontario, Canada. A Gigantic Sequins Teen Sequin in 2018, her work is published or forthcoming in Four Way Review, Kissing Dynamite, Room Magazine, Alexandria Quarterly, and Ghost City Review, among other places. Paluch has studied poetry under Jessica Lynn Suchon during the 2019 Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, as well as under Matt Mitchell during Flypaper Lit’s 2020 workshop on poetic forms.

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