Bio Note: I am a lead custodian and online tutor in Papillion NE, and have published poems previously in Verse-Virtual, The Lyric, Ragazine, Blue Unicorn, and elsewhere. I received my MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop where I studied under James Tate and Marvin Bell.
ending with lines from "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens She sees the spinning motion of the crucifix above her head, but she does not see the crucifix itself: this is belief– a whipping pinwheel hypnotizing all that is real out of her. Spirit spirit spirit, you are not there, I have learned in my eighty-five years of five births and one asbestos house that held in ziplocked love. Sleep comes in small tastes and blood pressure checks in booms that shatter precious pauses. Burial dirt creeps outside her window, designed and paid for, sky a dumb shell leading to ignorant dark where ages of promises rot and flake. The unseen spiraling crucifix descends and fans her medicinal fever: this is the breeze of belief to which her logic surrenders, and she claws out to nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Oh lions dandy be, lords of undesirables, hideous beauty-- severed and you multiply your toxin tenfold, disrupting uniformity. Your leaves taper to fangs that chew July morning mist like a fawn’s molars. Oh throned totalitarians, star map to Hades, I bear witness to your vile propagation, your urge to conquer the Green enslaved by your infections. Control your egg yolk erections, and when your afros peel away to conspire in sidewalk cracks, give your stolen yellows back.
©2022 Marc Darnell
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