About the Writer
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.
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 -
in the gesture of
with a ring and a leash,
I have been wielding
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.