Grammar | Sarah McCann

The girls skipped to school with box-cutters decorated in glittered nail polish.

The boys have to glide through metal detectors

so they’ve chipped obsidian from the Museum
of Natural History into grievous needles. They hide
them in their hair, or in the thick worming scars
on their arms.
                       We, together, work

on vocabulary—prolong golden lodge,
bulge trudge origin, energy
harbor forces—and their sentences are rotten
with able pains—with pain

that makes you sit up and run

out the door. On the board, we hinge the horrors
into a story, once sentence, another, another,

till the story’s its own wound.

Sarah McCann has been published in such journals as The Bennington Review, Margie, and Hanging Loose, and her translations from the Modern Greek into English have been recognized by the Fulbright Foundation and published in such anthologies and journals as Austerity MeasuresWords Without Borders, and Poetry International. She edited a collection of poetry from the late American poet Robert Lax, Tertium Quid, and a book of her translations of the Greek poet Maria Laina was recently published by World Poetry Books.