by Penney Knightly

Out of Bed

Slow to serenade, wispy, extending
arms and legs, a jungle heap.
Moss-fern overgrowth.

Dew on cheeks and inner limbs,
I blush in dark places
hiding against sky light, and crunch of air.

I slither back, move like Eden;
a dream ghost.

A Letter Leaves

Little square holding so much heart,
bursting of seams, some stitching
needed for a stamp.

Scrapes to paper. Carrier of so much weight.
Athletic eyes, perky and bouncing;
love-muscle conditioning


in this dream there was a screen
pressed over my face, an impression
and I couldn’t feel anything but a smile
but I wasn’t allowed to have it

my face felt strong from your hands
more homely and becoming
I could feel your eyes on mine
straining through fingertips, lonely

aching cheekbones and dry lips
I blend into the cushion of a lie;
this is not my jaw,
I am holy exclusion

Grief Bone

I imagine it smooth
the polishing of ache
as important and trivial
as a rib bone, or a clavicle
but more lengthy,
think femur
that sort of dimension
with fractures like a child’s drawing—
marks that often leave the surface.

About the Author:

Penney Knightly

Penney Knightly is a survivor of sexual abuse; themes about that are often found in her work. Her poetry has appeared in Eunoia Review, Dead King, and elsewhere. She lives with her family on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay, where she writes and creates art. She tweets @penneyknightly and shares on her blog http://penneyknightly.com.