The day my body caught fire
the woodland darkened. The horizon
was a sea of maids, rushing to piece me
back into a girl. Out of the girl came yellow
flowers, came stem & sepal.You never happened, they said.
The meadow was a narration of lessness.
Inside the corral, horses fell
from the impact of lightning. They broke
down. I heard gunshots in my sleep.
I was a keeper of breath,
of hay. I walked a field, collecting bones.
You can build a house out of bones.
You can stand at the doorway
quarrelling with your legs to enter
or run until you turn to ash.
Stacie Cassarino, “Firework” from Zero at the Bone. (via literarymiscellany)

In this dream, we are baking cherry pies.
We are baking cherry pies in the middle of a sunlit kitchen and leaving them to cool on the windowsill. 
I want to say that there is sunshine spilling everywhere.
I want to say that it’s falling out of the gaps between your teeth because it probably is.
How could it not be? 

In this dream I put my mouth on your mouth and try to catch all of that happiness with my tongue,
we play soft music that sounds like sighing 
and I breathe like a paper bird rustling 
against your tongue. 

Did I say that there is a meadow in my stomach?
Did I tell you that you were every flower inside of it?
I don’t know, it doesn’t matter. You knew,
how could you not? 

In this dream, you are probably licking my fingertips clean,
and we are dripping cherry jam on the counters. 
In this dream we are dancing barefoot on a wooden floor,
tangled so far inside of each other like knitting string. 

I am kissing your shoulders 
and paying special attention to the dusk setting in your hollows. 
I am sticking my fingers in your belly button,
and your ears and right there, where you’re all ribs. 

In this dream, we are belly full, 
I’ll kiss your knees and I’ll stroke your hips,
I’ll comb your hair.
In this dream, we sit side by side and hold hands
and knock our bodies like bowling pins. 

In this dream I’ll feed you cherry pie with my fingers,
you’ll kiss me with your mouth wide open,
we’ll taste that sweetness everywhere,
how could we not?

Azra.T., “Cherry Pie Daydreams” (via 5000letters)



Dear Blackout,

My mother has never called me by name, 

she calls me beautiful

“How was your day, beautiful?”

“Beautiful, help clean up.”

“Yes, beautiful?”

And I believed her.

But then I turned on the tv,

flipped through the magazines,

saw the only thing deemed a “beauty”

to look nothing like me. 

And as all the boys chased my friends,

with flirtatious words, fawning over fair faces, 

mine received not one glance

not one word

and the silence erased my mother’s words

in a deafening, hollowing way.

But days like today,

moments like this,

I hear her loud and


(once again)

“I see you, beautiful.”

“I love you, beautiful.”


And so thank you, blackout,

for the reminder, 

sweet as honey,

warm as my mother’s voice,

that my black is beautiful.

(You all are beautiful to me.)



Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon,
that means
we’re inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.
— Richard Siken, “Scheherazade”  (via petrichour)

He was calling in the bulls from the street.
They came like a dark river — 
a blur of chest and hoof — 
everything moving, under, splinter — hooked
their horns through the walls. Light hummed
the holes like yellow jackets. My mouth
was a nest torn empty.

Then, he was at the table.
Then, in the pig’s jaws — 
he was not hungry. He was stop.
He was bad apple. He was choking.

So I punched my fists against his stomach.
Mars flew out
and broke open or bloomed — 
how many small red eyes shut in that husk?

He said, Look. Look. And they did.

He said, Lift up your shirt. And I did.

He slid his fork beneath my ribs — Yes, he sang. A Jesus side wound.
It wouldn’t stop bleeding.
He reached inside
and turned on the lamp — 

I never knew I was also a lamp — until the light
fell out of me, dripped down my thigh, flew up in me,
caught in my throat like a canary.Canaries really means dogs, he said.

He put on his shoes.You started this with your mouth, he pointed.Where are you going? I asked.To ride the Ferris wheel, he answered,
and climbed inside me like a window.

— “My Brother My Wound,” Natalie Diaz (via commovente)



My son is not as enchanted with me
as he used to be. He’s begun to shrug my limbs off
snuff out my kisses, though I tell him
he’s only rubbing them in

I’m sauce-spattered as the kitchen
stove. I smell like stale wisdom and hard watermarks
My boot scuffs sound decades of stumble and somewhere
he must’ve noticed this, indecision
stuck between the teeth, self-doubt dirty dress hem

I’ve hoarded a certain memory from him
behind a stone he’s too small
to push over; a night of treason and injustice
where I caught his father
skipping bedtime story pages in haste
His dog-eared face, the stars sobbed
with my scalded boy, and all apologies
were slung from the balcony

He whimpered like a rusty swing set
as I lay in the next room, all glory and grace
a bruised-bitten tongue hid
I feigned sound and stately and maybe
this was the moment, the peak
where his tiny voice pleaded under the threshold
“Oh Mama, don’t marry Daddy. Marry me.”

I was pioneered, my summit laid claim to
He takes the view for granted now
And I squirrel away my stories for winters
like these to dangle before him.
See, boy. I never skipped a page.

Stacie Primeaux

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
2007 Neil Postman Award Honorable Mention

Stephen Dunn, "Checklist"


The housework, the factory work, the work
that takes from the body
and does not put back.
the white-collar work and the dirt
of its profits, the terrible politeness
of the office worker, the work that robs
the viscera to pay the cool
surfaces of the brain. All the work
that makes love difficult, brings on
sleep, drops the body off
at the liquor cabinet. All the work
that reaches the intestines and sprawls.
And the compulsive work after the work
is done, those unfillable spaces
of the Calvinist, or certain marriage beds.

From Work and Love

(via wwnorton)