Amy Strauss Friedman is the author of the chapbook Gathered Bones Are Known to Wander (Red Bird, 2016). She is a regular
contributor to the newspaper Newcity and a staff writer for Yellow Chair Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kentucky Review, Red Paint Hill, FLAPPERHOUSE, HOUND, Lunch Ticket, and others. Amy earned her MA in Comparative Literature from Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago and teaches English at Harper College and at Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development. Her work can be found at
The river dried
before reaching ocean
so finding you was easy.
You left fork prints in the sand
like birds do, circular,
a ringed planet of imprinted cement
on which you finally surrendered
atop a cryptic epitaph.
A trail with no beginning,
only a carcass bloated and blown
around by the storm
awaiting dissection and burial.
The forensic pathologist
struggled to unwire your jaw,
locked from years of refusing food
since chewing and swallowing
are incongruous with the hewed
grooves of martyrdom.
He discovered your belly full
of the chalk outlines of children.