Queen

Amy Roa

The smallest species of sheep had evolved in the tropical ecosystem of the Dominican Republic.Like most quadrupeds of the time, they had one set of teeth to last a lifetime,holes in the lining of their eardrums, eyes that burned some afternoons,and seemed to have a bird's crucial feather floating around in their brains.A herd of them living on a patch of wild lawn on the shore of Boca Chica beach.Between the green blades of grassthe miniature sheep grazed throughout the day.They were no bigger than ants. I squatted down and fed them bits of a discarded mango.I liked watching them cart away bits of the flesh. I liked their black-and-white hair.I kept seagulls away from them.They walked up my arm in a line, baying all the way.I carried them out to the edge of the ocean.A few of the lambs confused the roar and the splash of the waves for the beat of their own hearts.The others listened to the sound of my voice reach down into the deep until it struck the lost black boxes of fallen airplanes.They listened carefully, and I wondered if they'd developed a fondness for me,if one day they'd place a crown of giant lilies on my head,bow down on two hooves,and call me their queen.

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Amy Roa’s poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Yale Review, The Idaho Review, Antioch Review, Guernica, and Poetry Northwest, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Spring 2020

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Cincinnati

Poetry Editor
Rebecca Lindenberg

Managing Editor
Lisa Ampleman

Editor-at-Large
Don Bogen

Since its inception in 2003, The Cincinnati Review has published many promising new and emerging writers as well as Pulitzer Prize winners and Guggenheim and MacArthur fellows. Poetry and prose from our pages have been selected to appear in the annual anthologies Best American Poetry, Best American Essays, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Best American Fantasy, Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best Creative Nonfiction.

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