nc poetry

All posts tagged nc poetry

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.

Toll Bridge

Published July 10, 2015 by April Fox

I think you might have dropped this here.

I think you might have left these things behind, stuck to the bottom of your shoe

and fallen off, or caught on a tiny piece

of lint inside your pocket, and let go

when you took a dollar out

to pay the toll.

I think you might have have felt it go,

without even knowing what it was

felt a little tug against your heart

as it blew over

the side

of the bridge.

I think you might have closed your eyes

thought you saw a memory, there

a tiny piece of history, there

long enough ago that it means

almost nothing, now

long enough ago that it meant

everything, before.

I think you might have said goodbye

paused for just a second, there

mid-sentence you trailed off

gathered thoughts and carried on

left it there for someone else

to find

and tuck away

inside a pocket

of their jeans

next to a dollar bill,

crumpled up

and waiting for the toll.

Blackberry Winter

Published May 24, 2015 by April Fox

Blackberry winter, they call it

riding in on the backs of the long, hot days of early summer

creeping up your arms and legs

like ticks

to suck the life from you

and the breeze is a violent embrace, and the moon is pale

and thin

and the light from the stars is always an illusion

but it’s uglier, more obvious tonight

Underfoot, the grass is sharp

and stings your nose with mint

and the chill crawls through your veins

like Valium.  

Old Women

Published May 14, 2015 by April Fox

They are relics now,

standing side by side in crumpled parchment

skin, flesh-colored stockings, sleeves and masks

left too long in the fold pile

slightly damp and scented of lavender,

sunshine and mildew.

They are sweeping with their skirts,

boot toes peeking out, laces frayed and tied

with fingers made of gnarled

cypress roots.

These are not the sculptures dressed in fancy hats and

printed scarves and lipstick painted on

with trembling hands

only to escape a moment later

to the tributaries flowing

from their mouths

These are drawings done on old newsprint

and paper bags, in fat brown crayons and dollar store

markers, splashed with paint and kool-aid,

the corner signed in careful script

“I love you”

and the names all in a row

too precious to forget.

Someday soon, they will be framed

and buried for posterity

stone plaques bearing the names and dates of the artists’

residence

mark their place in time, but for now

there is coffee to be drunk

and stories to be told

and when we look down and see our skin is

creased, and gold with age

across the backs of our clasped hands, we will sigh, and tuck a strand of graying hair behind our ear

and for a moment, glimpse a picture

of the things that we’ll become.

boots

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