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March 9, 2023 Poetry

4 poems

Laine Derr

4 poems photo

A Golden Breeze

I hit                 like herons beginning flight,
I stroll             like a ladder’s line in crushed stone,
I buy                a simple verse of birds and pain,
I blow              dead leaves like melodies,
I pass               from blue to black, back to green,
I roll                a forest mirror for all to see,
I split               our bodies, sun-drenched sea,
I flow              two by two, a golden breeze


The Weight of Smallness

I fucked his heart, ruined the fitted sheets,
flamingos left erect in a pool of afternoons,
summer silence tasting of sea, fluid and fair,
a faint memory I pull from a box – purple
lined felt rubbed smooth, days collecting shells
as a father, swiveling on a stool, self-centers.

Every morning he weighs himself, blue scale
on tiled floor, a winsome smile, pale and pink.

Yawning, he fidgets, a constant rubbing of eyes,
cracking of neck, wrists, fingers, then sits,
heavier than before, disheartened by the weight
of smallness, thumbs pressed against open palms.

Clasping the lid, I do not judge the gentle wind
for its cruelty – a soft shore too far to see.


I Am Pale

I was born with twenty-one teeth,
one still sitting near my nose. I feel
its hunger for those who breath
the evening air. I hear its song, I am
pale, swallowing sounds from an open well –
hoodwinked, tethered, cryptic plumage,
the sun, the flesh, the pulp. Not strong
enough to kill, I let it live, lost in lines:

While you were gone, sweet to the tongue,
I ate the garden lilies, flowered phrases
whispering white, Our sorrows are slight.

Walking unswept streets, mouths smacking,
honey-rich dust clings to our lips, aching for more.

My roots taste of blood, as do my hands.


One by One

My family: debased                         
by soldiers broken
by One picking caviar

thickly spread on buttered bread

from teeth purging
poems from poets,
translated by none –

We live as we die,
aware of this world.

One by one, they slaved us all.