If You Do Not Commit to Loving, the Water Will Hold You Down.

If you do not commit to loving

 

To Emily Mae Stokes; to the child citizen within us all:

You must exercise your right to observe without judgement
and find in every other the source of sincerity.

Use your senses to feel the road. Use your faculties
to capture every day. Every sweet instant is followed by something other.

So, put down your false reflective screens.

You must commit to loving with such a clarity
that even the graceless are pulled out of their muddle.

 

(This poem was written as a homage and response to Emily Mae Stokes’s If you do not rebel by loving, you will find yourself painting the wrong portrait published in Nimrod Vol. 61, Nr. 2.)

Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

Femme Fatale

femme fatale

The police thought a male perp more suitable;
while Juana helped countless old ladies to the world below,
their hopes, dreams, motives forever inscrutable.

Jane’s method was highly pharmaceutical;
experiments on patients in her care were thorough.
Never saw her coming – morbidly beautiful.

The acculturated brain doesn’t see exogenous cells under cuticle;
Oksana’s mimicry of real emotion steals the show,
while her hopes, dreams, motives remain inscrutable.

Did Belle get away with desires so brutal?
Her corps was never found in the fire, you know!
Won’t see her coming – morbidly beautiful.

Manipulative, conscience-free, smart and lethal:
La Mataviejitas, Jolly Jane, Villanelle, Hell’s Belle. Although,
with your hopes, dreams, motives ever inscrutable,
you don’t even fear her coming – morbidly beautiful.

 

Photo by Max Hofstetter on Unsplash

Not You

Wipe left; swipe right. Moist promises on tap.
I sit, knees drawn up. The dark is quiet,
my screen a window to another room.

Thick black hair, chocolate orbs, fill the room.
I search for your tanned skin and beard. I tap
keyboard hot key. Not you. Faces quiet.

Obsession hums—buzzes, tears up the quiet
dark walls. Shield shame; break into my room.
Swipe right on a close match, a vein to tap.

Lover, tap the window of my quiet room.

The Golem and the Girl

Born or remade
out of fertile clay
of the coastal lowlands,
out of stagnant clay,
in squelchy corridors.

Shadows shudder and reshape
in the girl’s doorway—a clay figure
fired up, made hard
by rage.

Gaping holes for eyes,
filled to the brim with liquor,
seeping through the shell,
stains showing on the outside.

She grasps for the swooping beam,
the lighthouse that guards her shore.
But the light fails.

Fury pours
out of a vessel
into a vessel,
grinds,
until hairline cracks
soil her mortar.

Another shore, across the strait,
her only escape,
where bygone lanterns
light rocky corridors,
where she becomes
Mary or Rebecca.