2010s · Poetry

Sediment

I’ve been sifting you for weeks
but there is no gold in your sediment
pebbles smooth against my tongue
I bed in your silver-grey sand
sleep in the warmth of your current
I keep losing daylight hours
forget my quest for real worth
I need to get up, get feet forward
find the strike to wealth me old
foolish river, with your glittering light
I won’t find gold in your sediment

First published in Carnival Lit.

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2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

To Agree Philosophically

It’s not enough that
we have a million things in common
that we can talk for hours
about our favorite bands
and Miyazaki movies like art

It’s not enough that
we agree philosophically
on religion and God
and an unknown purpose
that I respect your convictions
even if they seem ridiculous

It’s not enough that
I can be myself with you
a girl-child at 37
sullen or cynical
giddy and intentional

That I get you
when you see things
no one else does
when your voice drops low
I know what that means

It’s not enough that
we are nostalgic and sentimental
that we are adventurous
in the mundane things
that I just don’t want to go yet
that I feel at home with you

It’s not enough that
I have all the want in the world
when you don’t say
when you don’t show
what you want from me

First Published in Katenhatz (Bank Heavy Press).

2010s · Poetry

Monkey Bars & Golden Spokes

Let’s go back
to when you hung
on my words like monkey bars
when you sighed the first time
you ever kissed me,
gave me lottery winning eyes
when you kissed me again

Go back before
my words hung
like bars around your cell
before you clenched
your teeth
at the sound
of my need

Go back when
you studied the curves
of my mouth
sent me to work
each morning
with a tongue
full of blessing

Go back before
every word
had to be measured
and weighed
before an honest response
could mean
I may never again see
the golden spokes
of your irises

Back to when
we were both
eager passengers
Back before
our feet were heavy
with hesitation

Back when
we knew nothing
Back before
we could not forget

First Published in Drunk Monkeys.

2010s · Poetry

Key Hole Apocalypse

There is light faintly pressing
against the rim rubbing soft
past oak and bronze

All the silences have hecklers
all the gentle landings shake
like trains on gravel tracks

All the distances are black ants
on gray clouds slipping by fingers
The gray is a blue child’s breath
The gray is a stubbled man’s beard

It moves in flickers from
left to right, from left to right
a slow finger and then snap

It’s a multi-story parking garage
vacant line after line waiting
for passengers, waiting for solids
to absorb the aching sounds

First Published in Drunk Monkeys.

2010s · Poetry

First Ride

Not at four or five, but nine—my first ride,
two wheels under, long seat, long handles
reaching out to hold me like how
I’d imagined my first kiss. I pushed
my feet against the pedals—move forward,
stay straight—push down. I was wavering
but I challenged the authority of gravity.
Sidewalk rough and cracked upwards
from the rebellious roots of trees hovering
over, shedding their seeds and leaves.
They dared me to ride under, past
their obstacle course—I did have something
to prove—I needed to win this race.
I held tight to my handles, gripped sharply
onto the balance I found there near
the street. I understood how simple it would be
to gain the respect of nature, though
I was never more than city-child,
born of wire and concrete.

First Published in Drunk Monkeys.

2010s · Poetry

Pressboard Salvation

I rolled under the church pews,
long rows of orange and brown.
Most don’t question the reckless
abandon of a six-year old.
I could spy under their knees
after the service, grown-ups having
grown-up conversations.
It wasn’t their secrets I sought
but my own secrets squashed down
in the carpet between rows and rows
of tight loops, pushed hard
into the waxy terrain.
Under the pews, the pressboard bellies
gave me ceiling as I studied
the mangled sawdust glued
tight with thick unity.
I’d scratch its skin for weakness,
finger-bit nails hunting splinters
on those bellies achingly smooth.
But I knew where screws broke in.
I dug those edges deep.

First Published in Drunk Monkeys.

2010s · Poetry

Hammer of My Name

My given name, Sarah, in Hebrew means princess.
A concept to which I have never once related.
A captive, a slave, a servant, even a stable girl,
though I’ve never been any of these, are more relevant.
A warrior, a victor, a thief, even a queen holds more meaning.
I am not a delicate girl, set up on a pedestal
in pink taffeta and tiara, helpless to captors,
endlessly in need of rescuing, protecting,
saving from fierce dragons.
I don’t know that girl.
So I choose my own name, Sarah Thursday.
Beyond the obvious, it’s the feel in the mouth.
Say it. You can feel the soft grit on your tongue.
Feel the breath form around the back of your teeth.
No frills, no helpless girl in pink tiaras.
Thursday is the day of Thor, god of thunder,
voice booms across the sky, across black clouds.
Together, I am Princess Thor, the girl who saves herself.
Lets her words of poetry be tiny spears,
lets her voice be her weapon,
sounding heavy across black skies.

First published in All About My Name Poetry Series by Silver Birch Press.

2010s · Poetry

Funeral for Bees

I walk into swarming bees
to taste your honey. I
swallow sweet and sting
and comb alike. The hum
of your buzz and buzz
of your hum sticks golden
in my chest. The queen is
dying. You scratch and
mourn and bury her still
alive. Watch her wings
crush from collapsing
earth. You sing her floral
song with your failing
hands. I follow your
procession. Sway with
the bee-death dance. It’s
the corners of your eyes I
want to kiss now. Lick
every last drop.

First published on velvet-tail.

2010s · Poetry

When the Dam Won’t Break

Sometimes the dam won’t break
Sometimes the breath holding
becomes so automatic, lungs
won’t expand and the oxygen
in your pores becomes painful

Sometimes the clock won’t tick
Sometimes the unrest stops
your soul from unfolding
the heart beats without pumping
your blood, leaving fingers cold

Sometimes one listen isn’t enough
Sometimes the song mustn’t end
the music has more love to give
your ears opening to the sound
makes you weep silently

First published on Hedgerow.

2010s · Poetry

Silver Brick Road

for Aly

If optimism is floral, you
are flourishing blooms
exploding pollen that instead
of making eyes water and itch,
eyes are forced to sparkle
and mouths from their corners
turn upward. Flowers with glitter
pollen residue rubbing on your
cheeks and your shirt and
your shoes. He said you really are
as you seem, all forceful
optimism endless like fields
of red poppies across silver brick
roads. You sing a song to calm
the giants from their castle clouds,
they lay at your feet to hear
your lullaby. Love, love, love—
girl, you are as you seem.

First published in Hedgerow.