nc poetry

All posts tagged nc poetry

Shaded.

Published December 2, 2015 by April Fox

In that final hour, before the stars

set themselves

against the charcoal sky, there is a shroud

up on the mountain

smoke and fog, the gravel path

the only way

in or out

shaded pink by the last, sad efforts

of the sun

to stand her ground

Before coyote songs and the stuttering of

owls drive us back inside

to the fires and the kettles screaming,

televisions calling with their familiar

lullabyes, the sounds of gunfire

echo the staccato beat of

our fingers, tapping

waiting

impatient for the good stuff

the sales and the sports

and just before the night goes black, and the moon breaks loose

and the woods songs come to greet us

like an old familiar friend,

there is a moment, just a fraction of a second

when we think we might remember

what it felt like

to be safe.

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Refuge.

Published November 19, 2015 by April Fox

They are laughing in the sand,

their high-pitched voices crossing over and under each other and up

into the sky

into the clouds

dirty hands reaching for each other,

circling around

singing songs whose words we cannot recognize

but the tune is universal;

nursery rhymes are all the same.

They are smaller than the dogs who bark behind them

they are larger than the biggest men who wake up in the morning

ready for the hunt

they are oblivious to war

because war is all they know.

In the dark, their voices quiet

they are every child alive

they are sewer rats, princesses

trailer trash and debutantes

reaching for the shore

they are holding hands and dancing,

singing in the light

while the righteous and the holy scream in outrage:

Kill the children.

Faces.

Published November 19, 2015 by April Fox

This is how we live

with our sidearms drawn

our fingers free of scars

and polished

sheltered in the skin

of privilege

ripped away from someone else’s skull,

stretched and starched and painted on

until it fits our own

we are the faces

of the things

we need to hate.

Cowering inside,

doors locked, the black holes of our brains

filled up with pious rhetoric

lying down to sleep on satin sheets

to dream the nightmares of the idiots

terrified of children

and of peace.

After Life

Published October 20, 2015 by April Fox

Someday, it will be the end.

It will be over

and if you believe in Heaven,

I will rip you from your mother’s warm embrace

pull out the thick umbilicus and strangle you

with the only thing you ever

truly wanted

watch you fight the blackness that creeps into your eyes,

bursts of light, the sound

of rushing water

in your ears

the silence that welcomes you

home

bring you back

and start again.

Pillbug

Published September 11, 2015 by April Fox

I don’t care what you think of me,” he shouts
into his megaphone,
short fat body like a pillbug all rolled up and just as smart
words like stagnant water, they have
no substance
no ability to hurt
or to wash anything away

I don’t care what you think of me,” he shouts
garbled speech slowed down at the ends, sharpened by hate
but still
as dull as his head,
I don’t care what you think

but tell me

What do you think?”

And his insides must be slick as mud, rotten fruit and
the smell of regret, knowing
he was never anything
and in his head, the wires cross
short out the reality
the future like a blacklight
showing all the shit he’s done
showing all he stands to lose.

I don’t care what you think of me,” he shouts
sour tongue begs for a reaction, throwing epithets and hope
like a monkey throwing shit

I don’t care what you think of me-

I don’t.

Vintage Christmas

Published September 6, 2015 by April Fox

I have paid a thousand hours penance

for her spun silk hair and faded blue eyes

sliced my voice on the shattered glass of fragile Christmas bulbs

golden stars and sparkling orbs, blue and red and green

and touched with glitter

in the center of something plastic, the holy parents pray

over the lifeless molded body of the baby

with no eyes.

I could never reach the top

with the icicles I threw.

In the dark, the lights throw colors at the wall

and the threads that hold the past together

rot away and die.

Prom Queen [Not Autobiographical]

Published August 8, 2015 by April Fox

I never could have been the prom queen,

perfect hair and teeth and nails, smiling sweetly for the cameras

humble under my sash and crown and waiting for the crowd to blink

and offer up the chance to pull the flask out from between my legs

beneath the satin curtain

of my dress.

I was happy under the bleachers,

eyes ringed with black and breath sweet with cheap wine

not quite bold enough to be slutty, yet

not quite small enough to hide.

I felt the words slip off my tongue like I was dreaming

I felt the time crawl from my head and I was lost.

When the music died and the limo crashed and the town went cold and still,

I laid my face against the pavement

and danced till morning came.

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