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October 18, 2018 Poetry

Three Poems

Erika Walsh

Three Poems photo


I want to be rewarded for my good thoughts. My good purchase. I want free shipping. Gentle handling. I buy eyeliner. The felt tip, and pointed. I want someone to clap. I buy steel boots. I curl my toes. The price is as marked. I click when I walk. I buy diet pills. Thrift store plaques. The words on them. It’s wine o’clock. I buy Plan B. Early bird gets most. I fold my hands at the counter. The smell of clean smoke.

I have hair thick like a wig. I take a pregnancy test. It’s your bathroom. Be sure to wash your hands. Your cabinet is open. I steal one can of legumes. I walk to CVS. Save two dollars on spoons. I buy cream makeup. Hide the veins in my face. I avoid the aquarium, and water in a glass.

You say oh my god once and look quiet at me. You cover my mouth with two hands like a sieve. You leave five hundred dollars, green in the mail. You take care of it. It is your treat. You fall in love for three weeks with somebody nice. I stare at your ankles. Hairless and sharp. You have the prettiest socks. The perfect length. The half off price.


Has to be able to cook has to be able to clean has to be able to UNHINGE HER JAW LIKE A SNAKE has to be able to nod has to be able to bruise has to HIDE THE EVIDENCE in the room has to be able to clap has to agree has to tell the mommies at the bus stop SHE IS FINE just clumsy in the morning has to TREAT ILLNESS and obsession has to keep her palms FLAT AGAINST HER THIGHS has to be able to SPY has to be able to plot has be able to flirt has to fatten and fatten up ONLY IF THERE IS A BABY INSIDE has to be able to feed has to be able to tease has to resist the urge to BUY HER HUSBAND A COLLAR AND CHAIN HIM TO THE FENCE has to be able to plant has to let spheres of soil GATHER IN THE HOLLOWS OF HER BONES has to SMOKE RINGS LIKE HOLES with the mommies at the bus stop has to FIND THE STREET has to CROSS has to WAIT for the signal


Who could have been god

You walk into the room and find soil, leaves, a few red thorns. The thorns are okay to look at, and you think how interesting it would be if someone decided to make a crown of them, a crown of thorns. Now jesus walks into the room because you thought him into the space and now you have to be polite to jesus. Shake his hand. He says please, I go by joe now. How about a hi-five. You’re trying not to laugh at jesus, who is also god, or a vessel for god to come through. You walk into the room and find joe, who could have been god. You pile up leaves with your hands. Say my name means to bind. I am not son of anything. I am not loyal or holy or gift. You walk into the room and move it around. Become interested in rearrangement. There’s lots of stuff you did not know you can hold, carry, did not know you were allowed to, or able, did not know how carrying is good for you.


image: Kaila Skeet-Browning