December 1, 2007

Lit by Chicks

Names (The resurrection)

by EJH

She keeps a list of names
Of children she’s never had
Ink saturates the tight weave of the paper…bleeds until dry

Names
They fall from her mouth like dead petals
Crinkled thin velvet crushed
(Sometimes she falls with them)

Sometimes they get mixed in with the grocery list
Monthly bills…
Milkeggsbabieshusbands and hamburger
(She had really needed the wine – where does it grow again?
She can’t remember)

A well worn receipt from a coffee shop turns up
At the bottom of her purse
(Who had been there?)

How many awnings does it take to break a fall?

Names are carved into her head like gravestones
Dolls on a shelf
The sweetly painted Matryoshkas' cemetery

(If they never lived were they ever around? She can’t remember)

---

She had been at the starting gate
Eagerness had dripped from her in warm sweat
Turning her clothes darker – she had been ready
Longing had trembled in her bones, rippled through her muscles

But she had found brutal walls of silence
In the flesh of men
Her tender lips had been met with blows…
The leaving had been a draining, endless - she herself had become

Empty…

She is
Empty

Empty like a blue-tinged jar found in brown loam
From how long ago?
No one knows

A jar to put all those names in (they won’t surrender)

Mildred…
Woodrow…
Lawrence…
Natalie Dora
She softly chants them with her eyes closed – just a slight vibration to her lips

(The clay choked the ground
until it was bruised a deep orange and thirsty)

---

When my brother died
There was no coffin

He had been born wild of blood and placenta
Needed
And yet when hit with light
He refused to breathe
His fresh, milky lungs crisped and shriveled like fall leaves

(Oh how she had wailed – too bad the world had been deaf)

Without a first gasp there is no name

I say it now under my breath and it sounds like....

EJH has been writing poetry since she was 12 years old. She is originally from the Northeast but has lived in Austin, Texas for 7 years. She currently works as a licensed social worker for a large non-profit organization. You can find more of her poetry at her blog.