Jan/Feb 2002 Poetry

Two Poems

by Penelope Talbert


waiting by the door

a handful of rainbow gladiolas
are thrown on the floor
and i'm tugging your belt
eyes pinched tight with
i've been willing clock hands to move
so you'd walk in the door
smelling of tuesday's rain
and copper


three down, me to go

i would have woken in the arms of a stranger
had i slept at all
one more slice of my diminishing heart
doled out like birthday cake
and i drive home dreaming
of a razor blade and another slicing
skin from the bottom of my feet
sheared off in punishment
rivulets of blood trickling down the
crack in my uneven flooring
one down in panic
calling me with moonsick howls to run
drunk with the sweat of fake goddesses
two down in panic
and he's oblivious to anything but constellations
and hasn't asked me how i feel in fifty-three days
three down in panic
true insanity replaces true love
digging me a hole the perfect size to
collapse into


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