Iris the Goddess of Iridium and Rainbows
your slow tongue peels my name
letter by letter by letter
my platinum resistance melts
its afterthoughts drifting to earth
I must go
I want to stay with you
play with you
crush grapes on your mortal skin
roll you in purple mulberries
eat your earth
drink your blood
fill my pitcher with your nectar
delicious and lavish
remember me by my rainbows
— a message in each
nothing softens the sear of separation
my sobs cannot split,
my skin too dense to bleed
i will carry your body in my iridium skin
your soul in my salted heart
we’ll travel, my love
where no one can find us
The limp woman's lips were the last thing to bleed
from her mouthful of warts and rust-swollen seeds.
From the gore and the sod of her mother’s dead body,
Sylvie pulls herself out from her dead mama’s gut;
like a skinny green stalk shooting from compost glut.
She smiles as she burrows out through mum’s furrows
Green and new, she brings joy to all those around
but she aches as she works and starts to turn brown.
She sweats to her bone. Her glee turns to stone.
A man takes her in and makes her brew mead.
He has a mouthful of warts and rust-swollen seeds.
She bears sons for this man to fill up his clan.
Sylvie grows thin, blood and fat leave her face.
Her cuddles lose juice, her joy dissipates.
Crust-caked in mud, flung by her thug.
She slices herself from top to toe,
reaches under her ribs where she keeps her green glow
to pray in her garden for release and pardon.
In her garden she grows the thorniest rose,
a creamy-cream rose that Oscar Wilde knows.
In response to her prayer, a nightingale in the air
comes to Sylvie.
The nightingale presses her breast to the thorn
that is sharpest and highest, so her heart will be torn.
Sings her sweet final note of beauty and hope
But even a nightingale with the hope of the world
has no powers to help our sweet skinny girl.
The bird slowly dies. The dead rose dries.
Sylvie gives up all hope, sinks deeper than deep.
Her body is torn, she just wants to sleep.
Peace rests in her breast, and perhaps this is best
Her children are fed, their prayers have been said.
Kissed on the head, and dead now in bed.
The bills are all paid. The man didn’t stay.
She will die clean and quick in her stove made of brick.
End of the Line
A strange man on the last bus home touches the religion between my eyes
You are chosen, you are special. You can leave.
Perpetuating my transparency fantasy
these ghosts brush through me
I fill my backpack with memories of my daughter
pills with names like alphabet candy
a daisy for Leila
with a ribbon for you
But you don’t come
You send petal-wrapped prayers
and sentimental pink thoughts
I toss them (and me) in the river
to see what will float
Today it stops.
Read no further.
Love is a reel for your twenties
Memories you dreamed
I won’t be in them