A tree wears Winter like earrings

Like my previous poem Hunger, I wanted to write about struggles with ED relapse. A large amount of the ED struggle is characterised by an unquenchable, unattainable obsession with perfection, which leeches itself into my ability to write. I want to be able to write for me again, and worry less about the need to adhere to an impossible standard, so I’m going to try to do that. As a concluding note, please remember that no one should be expected to be constantly productive in a pandemic, and please be kind to yourself and your body as you would your friend. Take care ❧

That night was the hungriest night 

The amber slashing across my face

The slurry churning under the wheel

The speckling shadows of the snow 

A stalking madness I shrugged off as gut 

The windshield fogged and I cracked a window

Let the car take in a thirsted breath 

Wilted green laid down to rest 

Rested its head

Blanketed there

Buried, unaware of my passing 

Or of my body lit up by the lights 

Flashing glimpses and then flitting 

Tens of eyes were bright and orb-wide 

Bordered the road 

And in the boundary line 

Of one second to the next 

In weakness and cession when 

The last-clung leaf finally fell 

I wanted to believe it was a doppelgänger 

That took hold of my hands 

And tore the wheel from them 

And it rolled, slumped over 

The rubied streaks from the flung

The caved crack in the tree body 

The dent where the car kissed it 

Wet, matted pelt, and the sickness of it 

From the jolt, and the last time

The last time it would die 

I hung from the seatbelt

My skull cracked open with 

The flesh of an orange 

Watched the eyes slowly eat of it 

The foul seeks out the sunless

The web of the windshield 

The wax skin of the daughter

Bloodied gold on the forehead

Monks to an offering 

Huddled round— hooded and bowed 

The wet bag of my stomach 

Pumping with fume 

Brimming with plastic

I cut myself loose

Photo by João Pedro Freitas on Unsplash

Hunger

If it wasn’t for the prickly, quivering flame 

Or the smoke ribbon signalling when it was snuffed

The entangling roots of a plant suffocated

Or the way that it drooped, then crackled, and pussed 

For a shroud of grass blades that prong from the ground

The fox wail in the nighttime, and to know that it’s mine 

Or for the fetus bird with its yellow mouth caved

And how it gapes a familiar, white dreamy sea-wave

When the churn dislodges the embedded debris

And lays it all out on the surface before me 

And the foam over-folds to collapse on the rock

I peel away, fractured as a book in the water

I wring out my stomach like a rotten, wet rag 

Paper cranes burst from the droplets and dissolve on the sand

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Chapel

Find something blue 

She’ll be all doe eyes

Weeping deer crowns

Chestnut deep

In oversized gown

She trips over the long hem

Over glass and black car shell 

Over gnarled, overturned tree

Forbidden jump rope giggles

Wild rabbit witnesses

Stop at the bough alter

In bare feet and mud smudged knees

Makeshift plank chapel 

Blossom cross nailed to its peak 

Pulped painted ground leaves 

Follow Autumn’s heel

Gas station lily in her hair

Ascension on oil slick 

Forming vatican of cardinal grosbeak 

4 foot child bride veiled 

Kool aid for dessert 

Honeymoon in the Motel suite 

7/11 soft serve

Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash


Published in The American Journal of Poetry (July 2020/ Vol 9)

http://www.theamericanjournalofpoetry.com/v9-fauna.html