"Dear Suki: #79," "Vagabond Hand," and "Restraint Is Only the Ability to Trade One Kind of Safety for Another"

Dear Suki: Number Seventy-Nine

Dear Suki: St. Lawrence, Sept 9th,
tall as a stair, you had miles to go
before breaths of ice sought from 
your herb-spring hands. All fabric
sheaths parched chromas of dark,
I flickered like cigarette butt at the
head of your black gait—a selvage 
of time captured only in faded snap-
shot. Still, I liked the way our edges
wore thin at the pale, brachiating 
the pits left by earthworms before
the earth ever shifting, remembered
some things forgotten. The offals of
a winter wolf, you pressed closer to
my litany of buttons and gloves, skin
seined about bones where I reversed
looking you up, where you crowded
into my hold with eyes gone to seed.

 


 

Vagabond Hand

Sometimes it was the droplets 
beads that trickled down the sky, 
the trees, or her vagabond hand
pressing about the chest like
sharp snap of hunger cut right
down the stubs. Skin-chill cotton-
tail of threads, she poised to walk
the snow, a Dunhill dangling ash
derailed on fingers at a train yard 
stop, fearing stingers of nightfall
and half-forged shadows. Wearing 
the weight of her thistle jaw hoarse 
with prayers, fists bared like teeth,
catching gossips against the brink
of blown dark, until the old birthing 
hips puddled pale on the asphalt
path, where lately space has been
spread a blanket of columbines,
weeds seeded out in puffs hugging
her silence all after, reckoning.

 


 

Restraint Is Only the Ability to Trade One Kind of Safety for Another

I let river recede through thick
cotton snow, but even now, I can
only mourn the plight of olive trees,
splintered husk broke against
your teal gabardine. Tearing holes
into the carapace of long-voweled
wind, you spared chin and set
shoulders straight, whose wings
laded both iced and pale to scythe
the beading neck. It was somehow
rattle magic, smooth with tricks
and hunger, drawing me from
the sleeves of your sweater. Colts-
foot reaching where I’d become
roots frosted under house, chords
of you skied dark opium, chalked
drawn shades of moss stars in snow.

 

 

Lana Bella

A three-time Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and 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, Expound, EVENT, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame 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. Find her on Facebook.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 19:56