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July 21, 2015 | Poetry

Three Poems

Luiza Flynn-Goodlett

Three Poems photo

 

Of This World

Rosaries slipped between knuckles.
Hymns polished teeth like agates
whirling in a rock tumbler's heart.

I've crossed legs, heard the lungs'
thrum—mosquito net-spun organs,
ever expanding. I read the ancients,

cast my verses, baited with breath,
into the Milky Way's muddy current,
watched my neighbor order dozens

of packages in his last weeks, and his
son carry box after box to the dumpster.
On the lake, ducks lead speckled spawn

over algae-veiled waters. Crabapples
hum with bees. Innumerable corpses
are turning to dust. Their names have

fallen out of fashion. I know, I am
one of their number, tickled by gore-
greened grass, squinting up, ever up.


Downstate

Tides lap another kidnapping victim

ashore. A rag's drawn down a throat.

Teargas canisters arc into the crowd.

Canines blunted by fire, no instinct

insists we tackle weakness, rip out

its throat. But we spark like flint

when struck, step from humanity's

warm huddle, blood on our teeth.


Séance Sunday


The salon's full at dusk when my sister
comes downstairs. Black braids swing

like ropes and candles cast predictable
haloes. So I slip into the hall closet,

howl at the mention of possession,
mimic the whine of a son lost at birth.

Guests gasp but she's pained, draws
a hand over her forehead. Sunday soon

looms under a steeple-shaped shadow.
Loosening plaits, she glances over

a shoulder, mutters: This has to stop—
you're a year dead. I shatter the mirror

with a glare, pace the hall carpet,
but others arrive by dawn, agitated

by thuribles, syllables scattered from
pulpits, daughters buttoned into pastel.

I spot the infant I'd parroted in the birdbath,
spooked by the hooded figure eyeing our

maid. I catch my sister under the weeping
willow's shade, all red-rimmed eyes

and shawls. She looks right through me.

 

image: Tara Wray


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