The way your hair is
Kelp, ellipsis hazmat
suit exclamation point
pause and wait
The way your mouth is
coming in from somewhere
I can't make out the location from here
I have forgotten my glasses
you are too far away
blah blah insert a beautiful description
don't say you were
the way your
because there's a news bulletin
a mexican gang is raping women
my son toddles into the room and says
he loves me
and I say
but I mean
not that I don't love him but
erase erase erase
sadness ocean water
that photograph of you
to a room full of people
or else a room full of
what am I thinking
your hair face eyes
I give up
A series of messages received from my OKCupid profile, all misogyny redacted
Your hair [redacted]. My warmth, feel the [redacted]
sadness. [redacted]. At my house, with wild
turkeys, we [redacted]. What I really mean is:
have you [redacted] much lately? Have you pressed a
large seashell to your [redacted]? Would you ever walk
with me, wearing only one boot and a [redacted] and
cloisonne necklace and I would [redacted] all over your
[redacted]. This wasn't meant to be offensive but
can I maybe touch [redacted] or nourish you with soup when
you are sick or just [redacted]? Can I take you to the hospital
after I [redacted] and there is nothing left where your
[redacted] should be? Haha fuck you, cunt,
I can love too, I matter [redacted]. I have a heart too,
you know, [redacted].
Mother of Two Live Children and Three Dead
So you live in a tiny house, entirely dependent on wood heat in the winter.
Let's say you live somewhere cold. Alaska. The North Pole. Neptune.
Let's say you run out of logs to burn. Maybe you were too lazy to cut
the appropriate amount, maybe you just miscalculated. But now, what do you
start with? What do you burn first? First chairs, useless wooden bowls from
your grandmother. Then it's January and you're sitting on the floor so what
next? The legs of your sofa, maybe the headboard of your bed. There's only
so much burnable inside a house. Before long you look at your dog. Panic.
Look at your husband. Cry. Your first born, just the right size. Your
left arm, who needs it? There's only so much. You try going out there,
waist deep snow, weeping through it. All you have is an old maul.
You're exhausted, aren't you? What more can you give up, throw into the fire?
You know it's only you or the house left, the old lathe would spark like nothing,
like it was meant to. But you can only sit outside a burning house
for so long before it's just a hill of black and you're cold again and pawing
through the ash like a hungry animal oh no, this does not smell like something
that could sustain you through February. Because there's a limit to what you
you can burn. This mistake is always what you choose to start with.
Crow Hollow 19
About the poems: No comment.
Murder Four, Spring 2017