Shannon Austin

At the Debbie Reynolds/Carrie Fisher Estate Sale

Hand-painted saints in gold-bound pages
sell for the highest bid. Their faces

in wooden frames,
on VHS covers softened by age,

miniaturized as cookie jars,
pencil cases—

value increased by inertia. Hundreds of white
hands loosen their pearls, sleep in shallow

boxes. Feathered boas hold the shape
of arms, count their fallen.

Two picnic baskets are the first to go,
a matching wicker set.    I try to imagine

their last occupants. Wine or water,
chicken salad or turkey sandwiches.

A day unrecorded, their bare feet
rubbing the green off stalks of grass.

In a galaxy far away, the sun is another star
a mother points to as she braids

a daughter’s hair. They dance in the light
of a moon’s moon, converse

on the mouth of their god. No one knows
what was said.


Shannon Austin is a writer from Baltimore, MD, with an MFA in poetry at UNLV. Her poems and translations have appeared in Colorado Review, Interim, Profane, American Chordata and elsewhere.