Jan/Feb 2008 Poetry

Three Poems

by Clare L. Martin

Photo by Steve Wing


The planet is strapped to my back. Moons jiggle in my stomach. I'm making fists, clenching my toes, tightening my urethra. My anguish is at saturation point. I shred smiles off of commercial actors' faces, set fire to plastic kings, and bulldoze castles. I'm beating the walls until they are fist-marked. Pulling electrical wires does no good. Give me an orgasm. My cries will crack the iron locking my gut shut. I need a long drive on a black road, a wildfire. Birds fly in smoke. The scattering deer look beautiful and scared.


The Frozen Child

A boy wanders.

He stares into sunset. Forgets
the old
split tree by the creek.

He was warned
over and over.

One sad day lined up,
then another.

And snows fell.

He became still. Nothing
mothered him.
His nightmares iced.

We thought
it was sleep on his
bright face.


Eating the Heart First

Her body bristles.
She hears the plucked string,
the whoosh of arrowó

When she is felled,
you must eat the heart first.

It is a hellish flower.
Cut it out whole. Its pulse fills your hand.

She will talk in your skin.
Her fear will mingle with your own.

Cold, you sleep.
Your dreams flood with moons.

Wolves hunt the night of your mind,
keep you running.


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