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February 10, 2017 | Poetry

Two Poems

Taneum Bambrick

Two Poems photo

Cleaning Outhouses

I never saw them but I knew people shot our outhouses. The holes let black widows in. Once I waited an hour for one to step off a webbed door handle. Nobody helped from outside. We didn't pump the basin but cleaned surfaces like you would a regular bathroom. Speared up the trash. I remember sweeping a wad of shredded toilet paper & pulling open a litter of mice. Gravel snipped skin & they struggled back to the paper—shut eyes like people swimming, arms at their sides. I didn’t feel one I caught with a broom & broke across the plastic floor. I put them back in a corner. Sheet from my notebook & spoke to whoever came next like don’t or please or look before you. A tent my blue handwriting. One of those things you wouldn’t notice until you noticed in the blend of what you’d been hearing, crying.

 

Field Guide

That was me combing the bee legs out. My ponytail a hot nest. Wanting simple. Eating French fries from your mouth. Saying yes I would like. Series of company website photographs. Click on me posed in a tube where the horse floated out. Washington’s Palm Springs. Please come visit you your whole family. My pulled up weedy feet. That was the purple eyeliner month. Landshark & Burnett’s buried in dirt behind my parents. When I ate the most hot dogs extra large pizza lunch. How small & how much. I hiked a car door from a pasture in the summer drought. Strapped to my belt. Waved while stabbing cups off. My friends Slurpees & bikinis. Guys called them a bald eagle sighting. Added four to the tally. We were the kind they’d like to see at the nude beach but a nude beach is never what you think. Twenty person tents. Golfer wearing a yellow dick-sling. That was when they left me to clean. A man should never see another man fucking even in the movies. Worst things work against biology. For example who would put a teenage girl this far from cell service. Problem of access. Car tires stuffed in vault toilets. My new awareness. Burying tampons in an open field. Dirt stamped my bright hands. It was funny they drove away when I pulled down my pants. I could run the two miles back & it was like me to hold the radio to my mouth. So they’d hear. I heard too from the truck speakers driving up the road. How balanced how practiced I was at that clipped breath.

 

image: Carabella Sands


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