Erika Nestor


after C.D. Wright’s “Personals”

Things I am learning about myself every day:
Diet Coke is a food group and I am afraid
of the stray cat that paws
at my front door. I can say the Our Father and
believe in the Holy Ghost only because this earth is haunted,
as proven by the view from my porch at night:
the lights turned on over Elbel Field, students
smoking in the street with their backpacks
and white socks. I have triangle teeth and a flexible
neck. Genetics gave me imaginative
toenails, cracked skin. Nausea makes me cry.
Sometimes, when it’s dark outside
I change by the window before the assembled cars
and gravel. I take comfort
in the fact that we are made of star stuff, dust
and grey matter, and we rejoice
at the first rumbles of a fresh storm
hovering in the sky. Books tell me about Scottish duns
and lochs. The natural histories of things that sound
like poetry, inlets & pre-Cambrian oil.
In Deep Time, Scotland parted the tropical
waters. In Deep Time, a tree first tore my insides
asunder. My roots crumbled. And today
I cramp like a motherfucker. Come,
bring your bones to me.


Erika Nestor is a first-year poet at the Helen Zell Writer’s Program. She also earned her bachelor of arts in English and creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she was the recipient of a Hopwood Award and the Roy W. Cowden Fellowship. Pre-MFA, she worked as a technical writer at a medical software company in Wisconsin..