Three poems from a collection worked on over the summer of 2021 that explore the unconscious state via dreams and repressed memories.
In goes Splenda
That awkward time in the afternoon when
husbands roll over, yawning with the moon
with the lady next door who wears pointed
pink nails and wags her tail under the duvet.
She wonders at the claw marks, undone
stitching, frail whimper of the sheets beating
beneath her. She hates Fridays, mellow playdates,
the slow grind of small talk. To be human, is an
afterthought. She unfolds her limbs
like whimsy paper floating skin-pulp unsure
whether to migrate over to the real sugar
sap. The stirring of I hate kids steams against windows
thick peppery fog
trickles down their voices
barely muffled. It’s not a secret anymore.
the sun wobbles over unwanted views.
Things are happening.
No one cares.
A mother holds onto her children
clipping their bones together.
The younger one walks backwards.
It is a sign of a gifted child
her sister believes she is a penguin.
the steam from a loaf of bread rises
in a lattice of petals.
Its yeast rotting sweetness
flares customers forward
and their nostrils
are just another way
to embody jargon, breathe
out a load of syllables.
Blue skies and ribbed clouds
are sullen, soiled
by saw shaped faces
peering out of windows
there is light murdering
the last thump of darkness.
I think back to the days
I chopped up worm tails on rocks
and watched them wriggle. I was four
disgusted, and they didn’t die.
What’s wrong with you? my mother said.
One small summer I held a pigeon in my hands
overwhelmed by the wonder
squeezed my love too tightly. I was five
filled with fresh fault
and flailing feathers.
In the jungle of school, I hid
between lessons, the darkness of my skin
where girls huddled and sang. I was six
pushed down with empty pockets
promises of not one of us.