Grief machines were called angels
But we’re thieves. I’m cataloging the weather
Of invented clouds. Pink ash in a puff.
Pretty half-truths so pale in patterns
They filigree the sunshine I should feel
Moving over my skins. Lick me
In my blind spot. Envy with a tail.
Taking mirrors like little tablets. She
Pushed her sister down the stairs.
But they never called her ugly, only mean.
(divination using needles)
Those that were your eyes in winter, always
in line where the snow pile met the wall
of the shed, where the ice loosed its needle-teeth
from the rafters. An arrow dart in the center
of a bright red heart. My pin-cushion lover
when summer bloomed, all hydrangea yellow
and pink. And the compass dial winking
at the horizon line where a colt and his mother
smudge the sky, and below them the beach
and the lapping tide. Grass bent like a brush
meeting the ink, and then the hairs loosed
in the scene washed with blue and filled
with wraiths. The air hung with breath
pierced by your eyes, always empty
in their contradictions of hide and seek.
Don’t forget about me. I am your good girl.
I’ve only been dead
I only sleep when the sunlight weighs
more than the skin of every living thing.
The doorlight knocks, breaks open the clock-light
clicking apart broken things, a tumble of stairs
flowing down into a chamber. My brain’s awide
yawning. The fog comes feral like a soft heart
into my rib-brain. I call it a net. I am a good girl.
Now you be a good hunter.
Michelle Detorie is the author of the full-length collection After-Cave (Ahsahta Press), and numerous chapbooks, including Fur Birds (Insert Press), How Hate Got Hand (eohippus labs), and Bellum Letters (Dusie). She also makes visual poems, poetry objects, and time-based poetry. In 2007, Michelle was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship, and in 2010 she won a direct-to-artist grant from the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative for her public art project, The Poetry Booth. She recently completed The Sin in Wilderness, a book-length erasure about love, animals, and affective geography. Her current project is a series of swamp poems narrated by dragons and bitchy ghosts. She lives in Santa Barbara, CA, where she edits Hex Presse and coordinates the Writing Center at Santa Barbara City College. She is also the poetry editor for Entropy.
Curator: Lisa A. Flowers is a poet, critic, vocalist, the founding editor of Vulgar Marsala Press, and the author of diatomhero: religious poems. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, elimae, Tarpaulin Sky, The Collagist, and other magazines and online journals. Raised in Los Angeles and Portland, OR, she now resides in the rugged terrain above Boulder, Colorado. Visit her here or here.