Jul/Aug 2013 Poetry

Two Poems

by Jennifer Van Orman Yurges

Digital artwork by Adam Ferriss

Digital artwork by Adam Ferriss


Six months later and the windows are still black,
gaping and blank as dead fish eyes.

After an early morning fire, the porch is a shipwreck,
crumbling dry bread. Smoke stains the house
like a daguerreotype.

Six months later and the door hangs still,
burned and boarded. Shingles hang over the roof
like the wing of an American black vulture.

Half a year gutted, the frame holds up
as a mighty king clone in the Mojave desert,
alive and unchanged for a thousand years.

Six months later and the house is still burning,
the enduring rage of a Greek torch still unsatisfied
on the coldest day of any year.


The Year of the Snake

      My palm's love line
is a dragon, is a weed. Spliced,
      it crawls for all my fingers
and my wrists,

desire, a disease,
metastasized in my carpal bones,
      it would grow

towards anything. It doesn't care
      or know the difference. An earthworm,
      no poles or butt end,
nosing the wet paper bag smell of spring.

If it's worth it to you, you can dig for me.
      You'll find ropes of arteries,
            angry, rusted and junked.

Split into my ribcage, all spine,
      a black radius cutting through us.
If you wait

      I'll find you without direction.
A sprawl gnawing through rotting apples.

It can't be helped.
      I was born in the year of the snake.


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