nc poetry

All posts in the nc poetry category

Dog Days

Published August 27, 2016 by April Fox

Maybe it’s the heat,

the dog days smuggling water in through your pores and into

your lungs, drowning you

inside your skin

forcing out your breath in labored

syllables

It could be the dark, creeping in

an inch at a time until one day,

driving home

you take your eyes off of the road and expect to see the sun

draped low on the horizon

but there’s only grey, tinged with the last remains

of orange at the edges, dulled

and faded

sung to sleep by the din

of the cicadas

It might be the moon;

blame it on whatever phase it’s in

waxing/waning

or the stars and their alignment

today or the day you were born, it doesn’t matter

planets spinning retrograde,

the chemicals inside your brain

The constant noise

is driving you

insane.

Mourning Dove

Published July 17, 2016 by April Fox

I found him at the top of the stairs

without a head.

It was a clean break, no sign that it had ever been there

and though his face was gone

his body lay in a pose of accusation

making me the guilty one.

I wrapped him in brown paper

and threw him into the woods

while the rain burned down my back

and ate my spine;

I could hear him in the dead leaves, singing

his wings or his still heart beating

the low bass notes of life.

Bridges

Published May 13, 2016 by April Fox

There is a bridge

between caring and not

Sturdier than it looks

and once you take the first step,

 it’s easy to cross. 

You can see them there, still-

the things you used to care about

Feel them watching, catch the breeze that carries across

a memory of them, the scent of something

lost

You can taste the regret of not going sooner, mingled with the stench

of the things that ripped them away, the things

you never could have cared about

no matter how you tried

Even in the shackles, looking back across the water, streaming water

down your face 

the things that turned the others 

into monsters

are less than nothing 

inside nothing

under the surface

Bold and bitter 

and irrelevant. 

Cobwebs 

Published May 10, 2016 by April Fox

I don’t know the people here

with their serious smiles and their faces

hard and dark, shuffling

along, dancing some slow-motion two-step

no one really seemed to take the time to learn

I watch their tentacled hands, flaky skin and grotesque knuckles

reaching toward their eyelids

pulling the lashes out

making wishes on the damaged parts

the leftovers that no one

ever wants

And their spines crawl with the weight of regret, toward the pinnacle of shoulders

Knees and elbows crumbling along the edges

revealing the rust beneath, stubborn

and scabbed, like a childhood bicycle accident

come round again 

to tease, with the promise 

of a scar

And the buttons have all come undone

and the mirrors watch them pass with other people’s eyes

and the bald acknowledgement of recognition 

hangs like cobwebs 

from their teeth.

That Was a Long Time Ago

Published April 6, 2016 by April Fox

We were all

disembodied

captured behind glass

eyes, red-rimmed and leaking

fluids

in our creased, cupped palms

sliding through our fingers

to the floor

where they bathed

in retribution.

We were all

glass-eyed, blinded, captured

by our wrists, bound

with the long and strangling

cords

of their self-loathing, we were

hunched over ovens, burning flesh

off our cheeks, exposing bone

the skull determined

to protect

what wasn’t there, we were

flowers

in cheap vases, we were

torn and stitched together

and together

and together until the fibers

meshed and the threads

locked tight together and the glass

behind us, now

reflected fire

and exploded.

Judge Not

Published February 18, 2016 by April Fox

Black robe, you are no

Solomon,

perched inside your wooden cage

blathering like an imbecile 

left too long believing

in your own insipid wit

Lathering the flaccid patriarchal cock

with the shit you saved from yesterday, tucked inside your cheek

there is no room under the folds

for the consequence of truth

If you sliced your finger open

on the records tucked away, ignored

you would bleed incompetence

and the longing for your father

Careful, placing 

dots on

every eye

The smell of acquiescence hangs around your head

like flies

draped across your altar,

eyes rolled back in your head

You are a whore

for ignorance

cheap and unrepentant. 

Left for Dead

Published January 18, 2016 by April Fox

I tore off my face

I tore off

my face

and set a new one on, one without the scars, one with

real eyes 

where the maggot holes had been

one without the sounds of mad dogs barking in the ears,

relentlessly. 

I tore off my

face, and set a new one on

one with creases in the skin from laughing,

crooked teeth, and notes

drawn in the margins. 

I took the old one, laid it gently

in the warm, soft grass

like an infant in the rushes

left alone there,

left for dead

Drew a thread from flesh to animal,

leashed the dogs there

tied them up, tethered to the screaming

And I took the silence with me

I took the silence

like a gift. 

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