By Lana Bella
Now she knew it has been winter
soaking long stretches of rivers
and fields. Moving hands into
pockets thick of tweed, skin felt
the hollows flaked softly what
snow patterns made, enwreathed
to the islands of her bone-bed.
Parched lungs dry with scratched
in gin, she pitched whistles to
the stings of a drizzly sun frantic
to sink, loose-limbed, the tinct
of some quiet wild thing. Turning
a brown pair of Moccasins over
the raw braille of grass, she borne
lilts angling like fatwood worn
to stumps, slivering the slippery
slope of the hills from which
her flesh on this land-locked life
bruised long in the light of winter.
Eased by the confluent still and
dun feathered shroud, she gentled
down the hunt of a sandpiper’s
call, haloing the island with steps
turning haste. The sea gave
back to shore of an amphibious
horse, hitching ride on the flesh of
her at the burden of swift marrow.
Sidestepped over the shivering
down of its torn wings, hand traced
lattice strip reaching for wisps
of neigh in the silt, she put ear to
air to horse to the bones inside
holding the stiff giving of its chest.
Softly, she wrung out the equine sea
from her moan until the last drop,
croaked and hurt as some wayward
shift abraded in rocks, setting
to carcass great darlings of sadness,
seeing to magpies calling high on
the dead trees.
I come home always to my leaving
packing its bags, with goodbyes
feeding perished things to stay alive.
Missing me a hundred perfect times,
I am cast by entropy given arms to
faces as big as Rafflesia*, fast as
perennial discontent. Almost dark
and slanting, I shout but do not hear
me, pulse Gauloises smoke inside
the evening viseing cold, as trumpet
notes pull long my winter’s black.
Hair in updos, I sip the old tea cup
watering my ordinary lips, like some
destroyed reaching sea in which
my reverie hisses out this gone girl’s
*Rafflesia: The rare flower is the world’s largest bloom is the Rafflesia arnoldii, found in the rainforests of Indonesia, and it can grow to be 3 feet across and weigh up to 15 pounds.
I WALKED MY SHADOW
Dark arched the deep dish of my hands,
down a shadow of far where new arms
flexed as stems. Silvering up the lane,
I walked my shadow into town, bent
to its river walking my December legs.
Casting eyes to the breeze, more lonely
than two should be, I took us by older
skies shaking in the dirt, a phantom to
the fond. Now as an old woman back in
her stilled land, I hooked under skin
struggling free the familiar dark fists,
and how their small bones hollowed like
a bouquet of forks, willing my body to
Nocturnes sieved neatly
far a narrow throat, snared,
carbonated by all that iron
and hard. Even standing
still, the dead slow-soaked
through so down the jaw
ached, with the inured held
up between storm and dry.
Now, gravel tumbled from
timber over walls, trussing
corpses beneath the water
black, stirring into an hour
so exact as to pool heavy
and wet repleting the dead
of trees. Narrow sneer of
moon rose and went away,
freeing a manic thrashing of
elements lapsed under sand
and murk, nightly lullabied.
About the Author:
A four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net, & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 400 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, EVENT, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rock & Sling & The Lampeter Review, among others, and work to appear in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.