When you said we each choose our own death I asked your ghost
to guide me. Among your abandoned drafts: silence and spaces,
the height of the flame, the torn page, blood under the words.
When the wound was cauterized, you painted your lips around it.
I’m talking to you, Clarice.
And I will keep your secrets, everyone else’s on top of my own.
I won’t speak of the spells you cast, how in the dark
you’d search for the words that would steal something
back from the dead. And those parts of yourself
you thought were dead. The lives you could’ve lived.
Husbands never understand words like yours, or gods,
or bodies. How the name you were given,
one I’ve been called before and in anger,
was buried behind others until you were.
Twice forged of mutable fire, under a new moon
and planets laid down like stones on a grave.
How many marks of erasure, how many pages you let burn.
I’m with you now. The moon’s in your sign again.
Full just past dawn, and my body will rise to meet it.
Do you write the story of decay or does it write you.
Did you cause more harm with your hands or your mouth.
Like you I longed for silence but someone always near,
someone there to weigh each breath. Your ghost was me
called by another name. Like you I was a night person. (more…)
I wanna be Daisy Duke
Skinny legs and apple-round the rest of me
I wanna be Lynda Carter
pit you against my truth lasso
Be Jewel; kiss crooked-tooth
Jewel; be a folk singer
In the subway panhandling the coins
knowing I get paid in pennies
for doing what I love –
Kicking Lex Luthor’s ass
Fucking Hal and Flash,
pitting them against each other
and the devil in my brass tits.
I wanna be Dolly Parton, skinny legs
Shock and Awe
apple-round the rest of me
Islands in the stream
O Kenny darlin.
What we are is Boss Hog Bait –
I wanna be cutoff shorts n corsets
I want a gun. (more…)
INVOCATION TO ST. ASHLEY
onto your dinner
plate. For the lashes
that cast a shadow. For
the lips that were red, all
red, & the glitter. Sorry that
the band played louder, or was it
his pulse? Sorry for the gospel hymns
I crooned into the phone when he called.
Sorry my fingertips are ten Hail Marys. Ten
novenas. Sorry for the roses that fell out of my
mouth. For the way I pricked you & pricked you & pricked
you. My body is a garden. My body is the patron saint of want.
one by one by one. you gave me
the flowers, the petals I go home & eat. this is the part
in the movie where the director wants me
to kill you, but I can’t, so understand something
that wasn’t love, you told me this, near the stop sign
where you picked me up in your wife’s
car, I could choke myself, I wanted your hands
to be my hands I wanted a scene big enough to make
everybody look at us. I was ready to peel back my skin
& scream, & I was the glow of the streetlight, I looked
the wrong way & something was wrong. I can’t
be trusted to kiss mouths without biting, so you wouldn’t
kiss me & I wanted to shoot the scene
where your hands become my hands so I could cup my own
face & feel the word tender. I wanted to shoot the scene where your hands
become my hands. I wanted to shoot for months
I rehearsed the script of my leaving, but never left.
Lauren Milici is a Florida native who writes poetry, teaches English, and is currently getting her MFA in Creative Writing somewhere in the mountains of West Virginia. When she isn’t crafting sad poems about sex, she’s either writing or shouting into the void about film, TV, and all things pop culture. @motelsiren
A shadow lives in my shower
standing still and
still standing in the dark
born from the drain—
whole and imperfect
a septic Venus de Milo
I’ve seen her,
black like the fog
of retinal detachment,
in dreams, nightmares
the mildewed curtain (more…)
house fire (arson), or a partial memoir
1. Jesse Rice-Evans
saw everything in Technicolor, was filmed in
Technicolor – the green dead grass, the hound
dog red shadow of the moon. She would say Probably Not and
everyone would laugh –
jewelry was always a political thing
2. and when She came (is this the ending?) (acknowledge my lack of consciousness)
firm on the beach under cracking moon
there was a treasure box
of photographs – memories She’d lost in the house fire
petrified now in the throb TRACKING MEMORIES I CANT REMEMBER
a bag over the head is iconic. if you are thinking only of fashion who are you thinking for? when i was 13 i started writing with both hands at once so i could make something that touched itself in the middle. i became an angel. i put space between the letters of my name and my identity was then entirely composed of light. this is why i swallowed a phone and pulled the cord through my throat and mouth. i’m close to you, vince. when i replace my face with a circular mirror you’re inside me still. i am not in love with you, vince. i am convincing you that you are a body in a morgue acting as a patient in a hospital stuffed with doctors. when i was 13 i started writing with both hands at once so i could make something that touched itself in the middle. i became an alchemist. i made pure the gothic deep inside the erotic to compose the world entirely of mirrors. i’m calling you because you are inside of me. (more…)
oh you, you must live to be hush, my honeydew
—I have to have you, your ankle, your hormone, the
ladybirds twisting there against your scalp. I never want
to check my email ever again today. never want the copious
blood in my hole, I would hate to be left on the cool, white
stairs without any rosebuds from the bachelor. and today,
I purchased a very large box of strawberries, astonishing
and huge, and there was a dead baby sugar-ant in one of the
sepals. such tiny beings tend to sicken me, but now that I think (more…)
Crouched, packed tight as maggots we waited, the air alive with expectation, all legs optimally positioned to feel the vibes, all eyes fixed on the time-spinner. Every click-tock thrilled the silk as the second arm crawled its way upward, edging towards midnight and the stroke of eight.
I look up from the webzine, my eyes on stalks. I knew they’d never put the whole truth out there, but this mother-sucking hyperbole’s making my leg-hairs prickle. It’s bad news, badly written, but it means something far worse for me, the last male hanging. A flash of silver, like a thousand moons, and the Spoke-sister appeared silhouetted at the apex, her bulbous body bristling matte-black and enormous. The fly-wing Amulets of State, glistened iridescent as she hung suspended in time and space, then hurled herself down, stopping dead at the exact centre of the magnificent Uberweb. Truly, this structure is the only creation in the world-wide web, fit to facilitate such a species-defining moment as the first Bi-gender Parliament. A pale, post-glow half-light illuminated the proceedings as the music started – magnificent fluid-music – like the death-throws of a million flies. How we clicked! The entire Senette! A storm-force frenzy of click-response so tumultuous, it was later reported by city sisters that they could feel the tremor octometers away.
happy little bees buzzing
their final breath their ability to feed
those hives collapse
When he talks, cheeks ruddy,
my tongue shrinks under the weight of my appetite.
I wrap my lips around his Adam’s apple,
mouth stuffed like a prize hog, skin crackling.
Place my tongue flat against his chest
till I taste his heart thrumming like honey against me.