The Blog

Once I Was a Thimble but Now I Am a Bell

Erin Adair-Hodges

What are the words for how I feel today?
Beer can in the drainage ditch,
a litter of smittens, sunburned slash
where no arms could reach.
The morning wears last night’s mascara,
and I can be anything I want—
happy. Guilty. A certain kind of free,
as if the day is a car to which I have
keys. As if there is a road.
But I am February’s bone,
its marbled mate, de-leafed and
trembling. I was made in the image
of an image, grown hazy in translation
and a little bit of a lie. The good news
is that someday I may learn my lesson, but
the blood I make isn’t a reminder
nor is it the sin. It is the clanging—
not the hunger
but the promise of hunger to come. 

 

From RED BOOTS: AMOUR ET COEURS ET FLEURS

Dylan Carpenter

That year, spring travelled at six miles per hour, sweeping up Cape Horn through Ecuador,

Cuba through the U.S., a blush, reaching us faster than it ever had before.

When it came, we were in bed, and I imagined hearing hooves pounding in the downpour

 

Of rain; and after, I went out and gathered the seed balls of the sycamore

The storm had stripped, for you. Now what I want to do is impossible. Whatever place you’re

The anonymous goddess of, I’d like to send an extinct grackle there to tell you what I long for.

 

I don’t know. Maybe you were meant to hear my love without returning it, to walk the seashore

In a floral pinafore—I’ll sing anyway. I want to say: My heart’s still lit up like a ctenophore

Beached by high tide. Remember when you made me wait with my mouth open for an hour or

 

Nervous System

Rosalie Moffett

           

            Terrifically alone in tulips

                        the rain made of the South China Sea

            I swam toward a tiny island scrimmed with washed-up coral

 

                         and purple shells.

            I saw how many perfect ones

                        waited for me. Giddy,

 

            ashore, I pawed through them, straightened up

                        only when my hands were full. It was

            like realizing I’d put on someone else’s jacket

           

            by accident. The joy was not my own.

                        My mother was the one

            who could never leave

 

From WHAT HANGS ON THE SIDE OF THE MOUTH

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Amaranthine & thinning the mist
Amaranthine skinned she & I drift
Through the bird market
Through yuen po street
Your mother is squeezing my hand
We should go home & sleep
How long has it been
Pricks
Eye & fist
I know all the birds by name
I am reciting somewhere else
Amaranthine
After a gulf coast hurricane
I'd mend leg fracture & wing
Shelter in enclosures open &
Wild I learn the winged
Amaranthine 
Awakening
Hard & thin
I run after
Never again
Will I see so many
Wild amazons the truest I'll ever know
Squalling over the rio grande
Here I no longer belong to them
In a market I cannot click & sing
To peach-faced lovebirds
& overcrowded cages of parakeets
I don't know what keeps

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