At the Gellert Baths, Budapest

Christy Prahl

Here in the body museum,women speaking Hungarianrinse one another with buckets of water,warmed from a spigot in a turquoise room.Their hair a long, flattened cat down their spines,curved to the bend.These are antique womenwith elegies tattooed on the skin –a bruise, a mole, a scar where an irononce fell from the board.The women forget the devils they marriedin adjacent rooms where only men are permitted.The world is gentler hereamong the magnesium and tiled swans.Water ripples like jellied handkerchiefswhere their clavicles hit the surface.I am frozen in place by the audacious nudity of bodies.The brazen loaves of fat in the leg.Bellies sodden after so many babies.The quiet, nonsexual touching of womenas they soap one another in the spots of their backsthat none of us can reach on our own.

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Christy Prahl is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient and the author of the poetry collection We Are Reckless (Cornerstone Press, 2023). Shortlisted for the Stephen Meats Poetry Prize and a Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her publications include the Penn Review, Salt Hill Journal, Eastern Iowa Review, and others. She has held residencies at both Ragdale and the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow and is the founder of the PenRF reading series. She splits her time between Chicago and rural Michigan and appreciates subways and siloes in equal measure. 

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Syracuse, New York

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Salt Hill is a biannual literary journal publishing outstanding new fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art by people at various stages in their literary and artistic careers. We publish new and emerging writers alongside those with long, illustrious careers in the literary arts.

We are interested in work that represents a broad spectrum of experience. We believe it is critical to lift up the voices of writers and artists who have been traditionally underrepresented in the literary arts. As such, we feel an urgency to read and consider work by people of color, women, queer people, non-binary folks, and anyone else who has been marginalized by the institutions which have, for so long, dominated the publishing scene.

Salt Hill is produced by writers in and affiliated with the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University and is funded in part by the College of Arts & Sciences and the Graduate Student Organization of Syracuse University.

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