WaitingThe summer of ‘67, funerals fanned outWaiting by EmmaSloane
like a poker hand in Mother’s family.
You could see she'd waited a lifetime
for this one, black dress in plastic,
handkerchief ironed and folded, ready.
She forced herself to touch the badge,
the service revolver he'd used, his Stetson,
sweat-stained on a hook in the hall.
She would conjure everything in time,
enough to rise above the casseroles,
the Jello salads melting in our kitchen,
hoarded tears poised above the glare
of Tupperware and Avon calling.
It was in the way she held her mouth,
her breath, waiting for something beautiful.
A childhood ago, summer nights,
her skin had prickled at the crunch of gravel,
his boots, hard across the floor,
the smells - leather, cigar smoke,
Macallan on his breath.
A five-year old wears innocence like iron
and a paper crown, shedding glitter.
She'd filled herself with crickets' song,
flown with fireflies beyond the glass,
as she waited for something beautiful.
HeadwatersAlmost 30.Headwaters by Braxton-T-Rutledge
Where did I sleep the decade away?
Under a desk.
In a factory.
Stone frozen in the cascades.
I fell prey to cow songs,
the nightly lowing.
Some christ called me back.
Not my sister in red canyons,
not my cousin
or the thick gumbo of my youth.
Nor did the
honeysuckles trill me
my lover, I woke to find you
At first when I heard you
it was a mosquito in my ear.
You called and called and
you were waiting
down in the well
three paces from
the patio door.
The bucket and rope
I threw down in front of me,
Pulley and rod tossed
into the tall Bermuda grass.
I have jumped into
the rich black earth.
And from there
can be no ascent.
LokiWe are born in pain, all of us. When that first breath of oxygen touches our lungs and it tastes of fire in our bodies, it is then we are known to be alive – screaming our indignation that this is the life we've been brought into, that this is how the world will greet us. With suffering. I was no different, whimpering softly, stunned at the sensation in my infant body, wondering why it must be that my entrance to this life hurt. It was only appropriate, then, that my birth as a god was through agony.Loki by fainting-goat
Sometimes, when walking home after dark, I'd play this scenario through in my head. I was raised to believe I'd be attacked by men. I knew how I kept the mace in the front pocket of my purse, although I'd been too timid to take the lid off and figure out how to actually use it. I was reckless in my disregard, knowing full well what I'd been taught growing up, and then discarding it the next moments with only the outside illusion of playing by the rules. Instead, I saw in my head what
en routemy body is theen route by herbodyismycoffin
on main street;
my body is the
burnt hull of an
only now in repair;
my body is a
feeling of shame,
a pungent rot,
a score of roadkill
in half decay.
my body is migratory:
a flock of wearied birds,
a search for belonging,
the fat on my hips.
with too few windows
and a steep indoor climb,
my body is home.
The Crying Of BirdsI pluck their calls from the sky,The Crying Of Birds by Flutingspirit
Stuff them into my pocket like so many marbles.
Sometimes I cast them on the ground
And like runes they advise me,
Nudge me about things I already know.
Afterwards I’ll scoop them up and in cupped hands
Breathe gently into a cave of skin.
Then there will be music.
StrayMy fatherStray by saartha
alone in the white, white room.
This place, which is not empty
which was my fig leaf, my raison
seems small as a crab shell.
Enough for his back,
his hideous grief.
Little else. It is unforgivable
to leave him so little
to leave him, that dark body
in that blinding room.
you can't erase me
like an incorrect answer.
I have started to learn
that being wrong
taste it like honey
at the back of your throat,
embrace it the way
your spine would embrace
your mattress after a long, tiring day.
you cannot rub it away;
this is our natural tattoo.
engrave it on your skin,
that the path you walk
is forever under construction.
the important thing
is that we keep building.
we have an instinct to fight.
not long ago
I may have compared humans
to intricate things like roses,
but now I think
we are stronger than that.
call us white blood cells.
we do not rest.
our battles are internal and infinite,
and our conquests are
the beast that defeats us
is the final one,
and we will not go down
without leaving our opponent
scrape your knees
with the shards of your broken heart.
at times you may feel like you want to.
but hearts are not made of glass,
and no poetic metaphor
will make i
The sound of my breathing,
a heaving of waves against a desolate rock,
punctuates the morning light -
an island entire of itself -
churning proud stone into an ocean of sand.
She peers tentatively through
jagged crag shades half-lidded with
broken eyelash window panes
collecting house fly delusions
as they tap against a glass illusion of freedom
(window? or ceiling?)
A rhythmic tap-tap-taping
that only a mother can love
enough to smother.
I had placed those shades to keep
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