Inception

poem & photo by Elizabeth

INCEPTION


She asks,
wants him 
to be the first. 
As if the other 
were a ripened peach,
easily bruised,
they time their movements
to the ancient 
pulse of 
hearts 
then
seas.

Sharp tears through
hidden flesh
steal her breath.
They stop,
begin again,
relentless clock counts towards curfew.

Soothed by his hot sweet breath,
she rests in his embrace—
linear time shifts to the relative distance
between innocence and experience—

she arches,
accepts whispers
fingers
lips
as he eases her through
surmountable pain.

Her chrysalis rips,
new life emerges:
    	the harsh sun
    	scent of clary sage
    	wings drying in a warm breeze. 

Thank you to the editors of Hot Flashes: sexy little stories and poems for first publishing this poem.

Gram

poem & photo by Elizabeth

DREAMING OF GRAM

It was the way her eyes rolled 

as she flashed her pack of cigarettes
while I was explaining the impact of 

environmental illness, as if anyone who 
acknowledged the body’s needs, who didn’t 

do what they wanted despite physical 
limitations, was a whiney little roach

as evidenced in her smoking while sporting
an oxygen tank for advanced-stage emphysema—

I’d had it with the family code of fuck-your-body-
till-it-drops exemplified by our matriarch so I

got in her emerald eye-shadowed face framed with
brilliant orange hair and said: I don’t like you and if you 

want me to feel anything positive about you when you die, 
you need to demonstrate a shred of decency now

then I stepped to the other side of the bed.

Perhaps she rose from where she’d 
crouched between bed and wall and left, 

but for me, she disappeared.

Thank you to the editors of riverbabble for first publishing this poem.

Trees

photo by Elizabeth

Years ago, my friend dreamt she was a camp counselor leading a group of children through the forest. She woke herself when she exclaimed aloud: “Trees are our friends!”

Frank Lloyd Wright, Stanley and I agree.

photo by Elizabeth, Flat Stanley loves the redwoods

Lizards In?

poem & photo by Elizabeth

ARE THERE LIZARDS IN YOUR FAMILY TREE?

Do you scuttle lithely sand and stone,
peek out from rocks through half-shut lids
while others' hands are clasped in dance
beneath the bone-white crescent slit?

Are your eyes autonomous,
right darts to lips and left to toes;
as softer flesh sips steamed orgeat
do you watch the spoon, the ankles cross?

Do you begin each day with push-ups
then shield yourself from sun in shade;
when threatened do your muscles flex,
your speech reduce to a chortling hiss?

Do others comment, How cold your hands,
how dry your skin? Do you dream of
grasshoppers sweet in your mouth, or
screaming wake from the jaws of a snake?

Thank you to the editor of Something Like Homesickness: A Zapizdat Poetry Anthology for first publishing this poem.