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RememberingRememberingRemembering by swansisters
My brother said he slept with me (unholy congress),
a bramble brier of limbs, cocks and mouths.
They never said, oh so poor sleeping beauty’s wall
was pocked with uncoupled blasphemous poppies.
But I was a strumpet, the number of how many I slept with
could be be found if you tore through a cereal box.
His first wife sang Hail Marys when hearing of my lovers,
labyrinthine mazes of prayers. When my husband danced with me.
the Pavan, Lord Zouch’s Maske. We all wore delicious masks,
fingers touching then other things touched, fevered, liquid.
But that was a long, long time, things are clove breaths,
they are endlessly muttered prayers, they are my brother standing.
The blade is waiting for both of us (but he is innocent).
I am not but I was not taught to be innocent.
So I remember a mouth singing unholy psalms into my mouth.
FallingFallingFalling by swansisters
The body is weightless,
bones hollow as flutes.
They sing startled crescendos
beneath the world distant and harmless for once,
a map of what was.
"Here lie monsters," they warned.
Here lie creatures luminous, grotesque, incandescent
beyond anything you might know.
TruckStopTruckstopTruckStop by swansisters
We stopped here three years ago, "just to get our bearings",
Just Married scrawled in soap on the back window.
Our buick's backseat sagged with books on flying buttresses,
petalled windows, gothic stone spires that spiraled
like spinning tops. We wanted to make stone fly
and glass bloom. In the diner, I take orders;
the same truckers, same shirts, checker game plaid,
but no one makes a move. "The usual," they say.
You chop tomatoes, onions, baby carrots in the back, your knife
slippery as a fish. The smell of fried egg coats everything.
Earlier that morning, we found stones, flat with ridges, fins and scales.
They were caught in the chaparral.
When it flowers, the air will taste of butter.
This desert was once an ocean with whales huge as eighteen wheelers,
their bellies crammed with plankton, dried peas, car parts. We want a world
that will become what it is not. Where the road bends,
someone has painted a virgin on a shack wall, no babe,
just a cactus pear in her arms. With
Rorschach's BlotRorschach's BlotRorschach's Blot by swansisters
Spiders and bears and misshapen trees,
when the swollen fruit drops it bursts into wren wings,
salamander tails shivering, the color of bruised plums.
It tastes so sweet, the tip of a beak.
With a straight pin, I peck at my arms,
a Pollock of blood, swarms of carnelian bees.
Sweet sweet stings. The poison sings.
They say hallucinations, the saints said visions.
"Ollie ollie oxen free," they call running through orchards,
the evening air loosening, a grace note of despair.
There was once an apple and it was bitten,
poor thing, all hell broke loose.
"Tell me what you see," he asks.
"White," I say, hospital sheets, sea gull fluff, porcelain doll faces, albino snails
You must not slash, you must not smash.
"White means purity," I say.
A good, good girl.
"No look at the dark thing."
But I am the dark thing.
Ollie Ollie oxen free.