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Lana Bella


She snaked down the sky like ibis
sweeping the landscape of snow,
palpating on telegraph line.
A concentric point of red dared
into the susurrus of pale, she grew
trust to barrier islands beneath,
beguiling the steady strums
of windsong with her flight. Loose
hair frosted the reed of marsh
when east and west of everything
but herself ceded seamless to
icy fall, she drew breaths then
exhaled, spilling through the mist
spreading smooth. Today she'll
pour down her waist in flesh, take
shape over sand from gnostic moats
to iceberg seas to nautical shrouds,
sieving inches apart instead of
miles over a hundred perfect times.


How do you study the yeast between
blessing and pestle, flirting among
the wide-lipped bowl? Dear Colette,
I took my hands for a quiet knead to
your vanishing bones, brighter still
at the seams of legs barking down
from somber clay. Perhaps this was
the way it ought to be: shaping love
as though you'd feared release in
food and fornication, an ending with
painted steps tasting the measuring
spoon. Softly, I touched glass against
your faded lipstick, heart grew ribs
and rails over each windowless eyes
as shadows crouched in a nest of rain
crying down a cold cheek. Now I
lived waiting for a pastry rise, spread
dripping like rinsed tears sounding
their low, purple chords on my lips.


Men climb my clothes to blades of
bluegrass sharp; their hands
are made for cutting. Sectioned,
I turn myself moving shade
of daffodils beneath dirt, spurring
up from the shallow grave.
Stone-cut, driftwood-curl on this
side of midnight, I hurt at the sky
like a jilted caress, thinking about
the men with beards of flame on
wind of gravel dirt, tossing changes
reflecting back the moon. So I’ll
bear life to god-awful sons, denying
daughters into my fractured body,
as if I can brook what I lend to
the universe, be the retinue between
in and dispose, pilfer and grace.

➥ Bio