Four Poems

Lauren Gordon

A Combination of Words Meaning Wrongful


Those were the spare years. An annuity 

of silence. Allow them that space. Allow 

the years to collect like barrels of rain,

an oily and blue backdrop in the yard. 


Lonely light, orange office, flickering

inconsistent burn as if it, too, doubts

its own existence.  We were filaments

in wait, the ignition which never came.


There was a four am in that house, one

that arrived with wild turkey and deer,

an attic mouse we had to stomp to death 

after the poison left it low shrapnel.


I thought you had it best: you could leave me

                        but I could never leave me. 


Those were the barren years, a broken sonnet

of secrets. Engage with the song of it,


then divorce an apportion of rhythm,

a red ventricle slamming in its frame


eternal screen door renting itself back 

and forth, opened, closed, opened, closed, open. 




A Paring, a Pause


This arborist is new.
He trudges through my yard and drags a rake.
He doesn’t know I am watching.


I have tweaked the blinds just so.
I am staring at him from a break in the slant,
as the fog hides the neighborhood


making it appear more charming than it is – a street
lined with careful, deciduous choices
never allowed to grow wild and high.


The arborist circles the elm
goes down on one knee,
then leans in and touches the bark with his palms.


I think he is listening to the soul in the trunk,
that his career is a calling.
You think he is looking for emerald ash borers,


is a regular at a bar on Thursday nights.
The break in the slant is like yesterday’s robin on the sill
tapping at her own reflection, confused by the glass


where another robin endlessly pecked.
“She doesn’t know what she’s doing,” you said.
“Nobody does,” the robin answered.




A Tower of Salt


is the body of a woman,


the proprietor of glancing



not to see what remains, but if 

those girls she bled 


stumble with their men,

have enough goat -


a yielding

in the gesture of


resentment, love,

she turned.






with a ring and a leash,


I have been wielding

the jesses


that ground, that take him

from flight, fast freedom.


The perch that beckons -

my body, the blinking lighthouse,


the arm that holds -

my hand, the collaring rope.


Blinders partition his eyes, 

the atmosphere lingers vast, but 


o, his stupid wings in an unfurl

in the air, in the wind.

 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Lauren Gordon is the author of four chapbooks, Meaningful Fingers (Finishing Line Press, 2014),  Keen (Horse Less Press, 2014), Fiddle Is Flood (Blood Pudding Press, 2015) and Generalizations About Spines (Yellow Flag Press, 2015).  She is also a Contributing Editor to Radius Lit.