Crow Hollow Books

No matter

No matter milk or 
dark chocolate,
black coffee or latte, 
hands up, 
in pockets, 
at sides, 
on toys, 
at throats, 
no matter.
Heading off to college, 
no matter, 
vilified a thug, 
left to rot in the sun, 
if only you had dropped 
to the ground, 
presented papers, 
moved to the sidewalk.
Neighborhood Santa, 
selling loose cigarettes, 
no matter, 
begging for air, 
if only you had dropped 
to your knees, 
assumed the position, 
made better life choices. 
Child in a playground, 
no matter, 
chastised for taking 
off the orange tip, 
shot dead within two seconds, 
if only you had stayed inside, 
followed proper toy protocol.
No matter.
If only you hadn't been
born poor and black
in Cleveland.
A trinity lost, 
father, son and small child, 
concrete cups running over, 
drying in the sun, 
while the boys in blue call in 
the appropriate facts, 
document the scene with plastic tents, 
arrest amateur vidoegraphers, 
prepare culpable blame overlays for the
berserker thug, 
obese and diabetic resister, 
twelve year old boy, 
but his hand was in his waistband.  
No matter, 
the cycle continues but 
the strange fruit lays 
horizontal now.

Silent Coitus

​We don’t have sex the way we used to,
lazily on the weekends or enthusiastically 
after coming home from work or 
unexpectedly in the middle of the night.  
Remember that evening we rubbed ourselves 
down with baby oil and spent more time 
bouncing off each other like bumper cars 
at the faire than we did engaging the clutch.  
Now we do it noiselessly and swiftly, 
if we do it at all, so as not to wake up 
a child or be heard through thin walls.  
I want to shake the house, wake the neighbors, 
affect the Earth’s rotation on its axis.  
I’m a spring sitting inside the kitchen junk
drawer, always in the way when you reach 
for a battery, having no remembered purpose.

About the poem: My creative process simmers all day, held in place by dress clothes and sensible shoes.  Once home, changed, my hair up in a bun, children tended to, household finally on an even keel, I can sit in my corner by the window and think.  But sometimes that can be a wee bit too intense, so then I’ll read through multiple news outlets, maybe play a video game, before I settle in with my mother’s ghost. 

           The artist's corner.

Heather Sullivan

Crow Hollow 19

Murder One, Fall 2015