I Took the Day, Entire
I took the entire day.
I took the day, entire
and entirely kissed
the length of its neck,
silvered it with my saliva.
The wind galloped the leaves
of my tangled hair. I wore
clothes, but the breeze
was the day’s fingers
skating and skirting
hems, crawling up
my shirt, cooling
the sweat pooling
in my belly button.
That place of tethered birth.
I baptized my own finger there.
How wanton this age-blasted body.
My thoughts crawl in the dirt
with the fire ants and alight,
a-trembling and a-hovering--
oil-prismed coven of hummingbirds.
The wanting in me is a second mouth,
agape. The longing? I expected age
to temper it, but all my years are simply
a new and lengthened tongue, testing
a litany of words, seeking the one, the ones,
it truly hungers and has the taste for.
Barbara Lawhorn is an Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University where she co-advises SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace, now in its fifth year. She's into literacy activism, walking with her dog, Banjo, baking and eating pie, adventuring, and finding the wild places, within herself and outside in the world. Her most recent work can be found at Poetry South, Flash Fiction Magazine, High Shelf Poetry, and forthcoming in White Wall Review. Her favorite creative endeavors are her kids, Mars and Jack.
The Things Joan of Arc said to me from the bookcase
She tells me of the virgin sounds:
the holy hollow vowels
soft and bright and full of ache.
Her only portrait
was speculation. She was
the idea of flowing hair.
A sacred sword a river
of holy mother heart.
I only know the shelled whisper
of a page or two, and the strong
touch of bookcase and the statues
sitting up and down the halls
like bouncers at a garden.
She says the way wind
folds a morning curtain
is something to keep in your pocket.
Should I keep this statue inside
of me? I ask. There’s an alien
angel in my skull. I’m afraid
of loving more than lovers. I hold swords
to my mouth for the taste of blood
more than the conviction.
Joan seduced men into awe
and chastity. Her beauty gave them bricks
as they silently curled around
She was young and still
and strong as a valley, wasn’t she?
I ask this of the paper
spines and words
emboldened to the sound
of empty spaces.
I was a child, she says.
I was a child.
Elizabeth Sackett is a Long Island-based poet and performer with a special interest in theology, mythology, and perception. Her work can be found in Neon Literary Magazine, Wild Musette, Relief Journal, Subprimal Poetry Art and Visitant, among other places.
It was just five letters once, a black dot far from home
Now I unearth a world from the papery intersecting lines
Flat demarcations transmuting into shape and form
Springing up as skyscrapers and rustling palms in a curve of salty wind
Penetrating sun and monsoon sting ravages skin exposed
Hot and chilled and humid and heavy and damp
The city goes on for miles, millions in a matrix of concrete and aching heat
Flat grid Little Havana South Beach Irish bars tango and salsa and sex
But there is only one of you.
I am sweating all the time.
Under arms damp
Black is the only color that won’t stain
The birth control turns my upper lip into a dark brown line
I cut off my ponytail
I hate the clammy feeling of open pores on my neck scraping against hair
Sometimes I am more boy than woman
I trade in skirts for pants
Spreading my legs on the metro-rail seat
I want to take up more space
More of your time, without apologizing
I ask you to read my skin, find the compass
Connect the dots on the skin-speckles with the soft pads of your fingers
Share my breath in the shower steam
Sweat with me until we are slick and humming
M/I/A am I
Falling helplessly for a city that rejects my body
While I am helpless for your body
My longing curbed only by the knowledge that you are within reach
That in this moment I am enough
And the world is still and your breath is hot in my mouth and I don’t know if this feeling will
ever come back so I draw you closer
Odours buzzing in ecstasy
I never want to stop sweating.
Caitlin Andrews is a storyteller, arts educator, illustrator, and travel enthusiast from Baltimore, Maryland. Her research interests include Irish socio-political histories and explorations of gender, which have manifested in the form of mirco-fiction, essays, and two novel manuscripts. She is currently fully-funded at the University of Miami, where she is obtaining her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction.
You can find her on Instagram @edgarallenbro_