The ALSO THAT Poetry Contest came to a close last week. There was a tremendous response and I had the pleasure of reading many great poems. Congratulations to all winners!
"Come into my space"
the long slit up the leg of my red gown proclaimed.
"This space too"
declared the ample window to my semi-ample boobs.
"I am easy prey"
every click of my scarlet stilettos maintained.
"Make your mark on me"
whispered the crimson lipstick I planted on his cheek.
"I am not at liberty"
the zipper of his suit pants growled up at me.
"But a servant does not stall"
hissed the soles of his shoes on the concrete walk.
"You deserve your service now"
the quick shifting of my panties announced.
"After this, then the one at church"
murmured his suit jacket against my skirt.
No joke. She’s never worn the same outfit twice.
Today, her shirt’s a careful hand-stitched reproduction
vintage-90s soft-weave cotton-construction
fuchsia Tastee-Tee – glitter-flaked device,
a rainbow over rampant horse, with shooting stars
– one size too small. Taupe miniskirt, pilling tights,
the brokest pair of Docs debased to just the right
aporia of Hubba-Bubba gum-smeared tar.
“Transgressive!” rave the Twitterati. She prefers
“freak.” Her installation of Clément’s “tarantella”
as witchcore suite went double-viral. Her sisters
confide the cutting –then, later, her paper-doll
amputees, Groomsman’s Prostheses for Falada,
those Medusa heads painted in cereal bowls.
Sternum sprouting bayonet
Nestled back-flat amid an ashy fog
The silhouette of Ismail lets
His limbs undulate along
Strapped in a harness
Obscured by his raggedy robe
Ismail’s thumb teeters twitchily on a trigger press
As he seeps visceral onto dirt road
Ismail mutters, “Allah, I have failed you so.”
Flails his extremities – never even a witness to snow
Etching wings and a skirt with his final breath
While a hemisphere away Tiffany brims an urn in death
Tiffany wished for a piercing last Christmas
This year for her brain bump to just-
-Go, go away…
She sits on the mantelpiece today
God was supposed to swoop in
How she was taught through liturgy
But chemo drained all her energy
She never made it to ten
And Ismail’s only eight
Fingering the lump latched to his chest
Father said, “Give the insurgents your best.”
While proffering an AK
Ismail never possessed the gall
So after approaching those soldiers unarmed
His bliss made him gullible
Their candy bars had him charmed
Bereaved of their princess
Behooved to sin less
In rejoining their Tiffany above
Her parents donate warzone care packages “With Love”
They discovered the boy’s trickery
Commanded, “Torch everything,” and did
Ismail’s only an abandoned kid
Then an explosion - then flickering
And after the chalky, charred shards of Ismail
Hitchhike a breeze between golden knolls
What remains is a black imprint – an angel
That chalk outline’s swept under, dissipated by sandy folds.