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February 11, 2020 Poetry

Two poems

Mag Gabbert

Two poems photo


          I don’t recommend mistaking everything for love but it’s been interesting 
          —Alex Dimitrov

there are wild elephants
in the country

wrote Marco Polo

            I once mistook 
            the word blubbery 
            for blueberry

while exploring the kingdom of Basma
now called Sumatra

            then was known for imagining
            bears bluely
            and for getting
            pregnant at sixteen

and numerous unicorns
which are very 

similar actually

            before sixteen my dad 
            often took me fishing 
            and I always thought I felt
            the line go stiff
            then the waves would fold in
            on themselves like origami 
            until nothing but a fin
            was left waving

what is the difference
between want and belief

            the first time a boy told me
            he loved me I was kneeling
            in the shower 
            then it felt like it was raining



I go out to get tattooed

a serpent a bear skull
it doesn’t matter

I wait for the brief prick
of needle to bone

pain doesn’t 
ask you to think about it

a steady hum 
like a swarm it swells 

into heat gathered up
from each sting 

simple and dazzling 
it renders 

me a hollow thing                   
a bright and present halo


image: Aaron Burch