2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

Oceans Once Receded

I was a desert woman
who learned to live on cactus boys
learned to run at night and sleep all day
knowing the burn of sky and sand

Then you came with your oceans
rivers, lakes, and waterfalls
I dove in, eyes closed
hoping you’d teach me to swim
hoping to learn your whale songs

I threw away my land shoes
swam under the stars
let my skin pucker in your waves
my desert plants were drowning
I let them bloat and drift away

Then your tsunami receded
first sudden, then steady and slow
I stood naked in your mud bed
for weeks with dripping hair
dripping hands refused to dry

I learned to pray to wet earth
give thanks for saltwater baths
learned to hear your voice
in the night bird songs

Until even the mud left
took its soft clay from between my toes
the caked earth in my hair
began to dry and crumble
desert wind wiped all traces
of salt from my cheeks

I pulled myself back into desert shade
live now in the evening light
I can never return to cactus fruit
when I’ve fed on fields of phytoplankton
I’ve lost the taste for prickly boys
so I may wither for a while

Until at the edge of some moment
in the pale space between sun and moon
I might hear the sound
of water rushing

First published in Element(ary) My Dears.

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2018 · Publications

Cliterature 50th Issue Anthology

Extremely excited to have my poem, “Upon Consulting a Geologist” included in the 50th Issue Anthology of Cliterature. This journal is dedicated to women’s sexuality.

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · How to Unexist · Poetry

Mouth of Fireflies

What God there was in me saw
the God there was in him,
and it was beautiful.
-Amélie Frank

he speaks floating sparks of light
and lights a thousand eyes around him
he won’t follow their leaving paths
throws them out and lets them land
like seeds he’ll never see grow

I chase the fireflies of his mouth
the ones that miss their mark
I want to catch them in jars
drink them to kill my own night-growing
they sky-float beyond my reach
past the dim canopy of city light

I once drank him like a fountain
my wet lips glowed for days
my eyes shone too bright for sleeping
maybe I only dreamt him at my mouth
since the universe won’t return him
it steals his beauty for dreamers
and says, light your own fire

first you must crack your ribs
break them into brittle shards
cut your palms in your own grasp
next you must rub the sticks
of your rib bones fast
do this all on the inside
then sing out to the dark unknowing

your sparks aren’t made for eyes
your sparks are made to burn hunger
burn the ache in their bellies
throw them out like seeds
don’t wait for them to grow

First published in Cadence Collective.

17 Poems Not About a Lover · 2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

Black, the Consumption of Song

It’s still the music—
how is replaces the pulse in your veins
how it stops all the other voices,
your own cut-throat deafening.
You still swallow volume
guzzle it down like hard cider.
In that way, songs can sing from the inside out.
They balloon inside your heart
pressing up against limping muscle
until its ache rests in them.
You will always have it—
when love after love after love leaves
it still gets darker. Still you
wrap your skin in minor chords
mummy-tight until you can only move
in the way the rhythm sways.
You don’t fight that.
For a while you are carried by it.
You rest in black—
how it still comforts you.
Sometimes and eventually music moves you forward.
Slow beats for slow steps
when you are ready to hit the ground
on your own swollen feet.
For the rest of your days, you will—
as you always have—exhale melody.

First published in Cadence Collective.

Interview

SNAP! Podcast Interview

Last summer, I was interviewed by Kimberly Esslinger for a new Long Beach Podcast centered around poetry. I was honored to be her very first guest. Click on the links to listen to me talk about how I got into poetry and publishing, my poetry processes, the community I love, and hear me read a few poems.

SNAP! Podcast Interview

https://player.pippa.io/snap-poetry-review/episodes/snap-interview-with-sarah-thursday

2010s · Poetry

No Epilogue

the pages in this book
are coming to an end
they are thinning out
no epilogue to read
just an end
this chapter is closing
it was inevitable
our story is done
I want to put it down
to make it last
to keep it going
it was an unexpected sequel
you returned to me
there was suspense
and conflict
and romance
these characters changed
our plot turned
each chapter a revelation
but the final twist
it was brutal
no one saw it coming
least not our heroine
and it’s a tragedy
it’s not a happy ending
the mystery was revealed
the story is resolved
I keep turning pages
and it’s thinning out
this will not be a trilogy
I know your part is done
our story is done
I will have to finish
the final pages
and read your last words

First published in Cadence Collective.