What She Was Wearing
this is my suicide dress
she told him
I only wear it on days
when I'm afraid
I might kill myself
if I don't wear it
you've been wearing it
every day since we met
and these are my arson gloves
so you don't set fire to something?
and this is my terrorism lipstick
my assault and battery eyeliner
my armed robbery boots
I'd like to undress you he said
but would that make me an accomplice?
and today she said I'm wearing
my infidelity underwear
so don't get any ideas
and she put on her nervous breakdown hat
and walked out the door
by Denver Butson
photograph by Meghan Colson
She was born soft and green, a spot
on the ocean. The night sky bore down
with ten million stars, and each wave wove
her muddy joints tighter.
It seemed like whole aeons, the thick ice
and the flames, the soles
of her feet hard
and cracked from the strain.
Her gaze floated away. Below the stone of her heart
a glacier keened, tore and lost itself
to the sea.
photograph by Timothy Erickson
The room is hot. The window
is honest, cold like the leads clipped
to my shoulders and ankles. The wires
splay in a gray corona, marking where this heart
Relax, says the nurse. She is darker, prettier
than her older sister. She flips a switch,
lays a flat hand on my chest.
It's fine, says the doctor, a few minutes later.
Fast -- so fast -- but fine.
photograph by Bobby Acree
Nothing is longer
than these twenty-eight days, not
waiting rooms, not pregnancy tests,
not the moment when the brakes
will not save you. In four weeks
I will die, find my own grave,
pull the earth blanket over
my grateful eyes. In four weeks
I will be born, white-hot
from the belly of a meteor,
shooting feathers and sparks,
burning every bridge I come to.
photograph by flickr user Johnson Cameraface