Dear Maria

This story is paired with Chapter 8 of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.

 I used to think it was your fault, sinking
blossom, for being kind, for being naïve,

poor child, dripping limp as lake weed
across your father’s arms, your limbs

swaying in the watery air—this is where your
power lies, where you might have grown

from peasant girl to peasant wife, your
own children playing near the dappled edge

—but dead, your power forces men to
their knees, and then their feet; dead, you torch

every cold club. Dead, you can make an entire
village swarm and bellow against the night.

Ruth FoleyRuth Foley’s work is appearing or forthcoming in Redheaded Stepchild, The Bellingham Review, Yemassee, and Sou’wester, among others, and her chapbook Dear Turquoise is available from Dancing Girl Press. She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review.