a poetry e-zine










Lana Bella

fenced in,
the overcast dawn preceded
an ominous beginning,
my eyes found a slim flutter of peach-amethyst light
stooping over the scars of my body,
it kept growing until my eyelids nod heavy
down the bare-knuckled face,

between dawn and silence,
I am Dior-pale,
colors fettered at the toes
while anemia hooked like teeth upward,
to where the circuit boards in my brain gave in with
grunts tugging me up to my seat,
it was any wonder when the passing
breeze blew my yawns
into a circus tent,

over and over,
I took apart the pale so I can get back
into the deluge of dark again,
then sometimes,
I would lay my bones on sweat-soaked sheets,
lead to and be led
from this seed of madness,
boarding up inside the drowning
of my own words, falling into whispers
just loud enough to trace,
absolving me the guilt of living a devalued life--


I could resign
myself to a fate more innocuous
than most,
to where your grip pinned me
against the brick wall
that's already peeling loose
ruddy traces
of the sunbaked concrete,

on the buffet
near my cries, the sky comes in
and leaves gold
upon the plate of mooncakes,
their mini-shapes
rebuke the web of slim,
ghostly footprints
above the patterned crust,

fine china cup bearing yellow tea
hunches over
with the bend of your fingers
against my lips,
wringing it dry, I join
in the soliloquy of its escape
on the journey down,

stowed where the transit
of my skirt falls, your caress finds
release from the pull
of my sweater,
until I can see there is plenty
of pleasures
in mooncake and tea.


is that it started out
as a dark-rimmed smudge,
then, it left footprints in
concrete for miles,

it refused to leaven
in sunlight,
instead, strange marks
made visible
the many ghosts
that lay waking
on gin-bottom glasses,
making ceremony
out of a self-imposed

correct uses to impart
bad news measured
against how much
the heart could hold out,
so one by one,
each thought nodded off
into a darker plane of dark,
drenched in the careless
whims of nostalgia,

then sometimes,
it would dance
to the fitful waves of
the sea
where the sand became
a tuft of smoke,
so imperceivable as
to be abstract--

A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), has had her poetry and fiction featured with over 200 journals, Columbia Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere, among others. She resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps. https://www.facebook.com/Lana-Bella-789916711141831/

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