HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN

Side A


Slow rolled bellies
A Po-Boy split open and picked through


Oyster knife slung on the sideboard
Oysters fried fell on the carpet


On the dresser
Greasy lettuce left soggy
Still spends the same


Paid rapist’s rapture
Masked


As lover
As smiling singer
As song


Literally said
He was the voice of God

B Side-


Wet and slippery
Spit out a     pearl or stone


Strew like steamers across the moon


Coupled in corners
A litany of moans


A mourner or two trying to grit the grief


A preacher posed in chartreuse slippers
And semi-nude stockings


Rocking back & forth
Belt tied to his neck


Nearly wrapped four times
Around the hand of Barely Legal


A boy he knew from Eagle Scouts
He’d turned out years ago

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST

When I was little I used to dream
About the apocalypse
Each night was the end of the world
And I was the only one left


Red winged demons scaled my bedroom walls
The Devil danced on the carpet
Juggling chocolate cake


Shards of golden light stabbed through
The cracks in my ceiling
Exposing sky still blue in the middle


Everyone I knew was floating above the air
Their bags all packed
The Bible said I wasn’t supposed to miss them
But I did


Jesus wore sparkly platform boots
Looking down on me he shook his head
He knew I’d pushed it too far


Standing barefoot in my Wonder Woman pajamas
I knew I was a sinner
I didn’t even ask for help

GRIEF

My body is made of you


Your laughter bounces through my teeth


The loneliness gnaws on my breasts


Eating what is meant to be saved

GHOSTS

They stand slobbering in the sagging light


Holding tight to the first hurts


Like a baby’s clinched fists


At the shallow edges


They gather


Gated by the tips of shadows


They use what they can


To try to get our attention


Aching to be remembered

YOU MIGHT BE A CANNIBAL BUT I AIN'T FOOD

1.


There’s a fly on the side of your head
It seems to want to stay there and lick blood from your molting antlers


As you rub up against anything that will have you
Velvety shawls spiral into brown furry Shirley Temple curls
Then fall into golden beds of Cottonwood leaves


The fly it stays
Slowly opening and closing its wings
Wanting sound
Not wanting to bate you with buzzing
Holding on
Hoping to be mistaken for a moth


A butterfly is what you deserve
It knows
It hopes to be forgiven

2.


Tiny pieces of light hope to be forgiven their darkness


I just wanted to be a starfish
Sitting like barrette


On the side of your head
Hoping to be mistaken for something valuable


Holding on
Not wanting to bate you
Not wanting to be


A butterfly mistaken for a fly
A golden moth mistaken for sound


That part I wasn’t trying to know
They know


I’m the doe eyed
And you are a rainbow watered with slick


3.


River water whirled rainbow jasper and agate slick


Brackish with ocean breaking over
Backed up against Sitka Spruce and Salmonberry


There was a doe who eyed me while we stood at the confluence
Both of us more afraid of a rogue wave than each other


Then there were three
All just watched me stand there and criticize myself


Eyelashes made me wish I had them
Something I had they wished for too


We waded together
Until just before predator time


Unlike me
They knew
They weren’t food

return to ISSUE ONE