haven’t forgotten my name yet
music gives the dark a pulse, the din
at your joints and hums along your skin.
want to be a wild thing, every twist
your limbs they will want to cage and kiss.
that dangerous grace, your smile all teeth
blood color. You shimmer, air in heat
trick of the light—your hips rise and sink
their reach. You are on the brink
yourself, a bright tide miles beneath you
you don’t know how far it goes, that blue—
wayward bird, free from a storm’s eye
not see if I can swim or die?
six-pence in her shoe”
he sleeps, in a lump
worn down as he feels, she thinks),
fingers trace the shape of amazement
the antique veil of lace—
artifact from a grandmother’s attic.
the threads have held snowy webs
despite the small, un-careful hands
miracles never grow old.
apartment is in cardboard chaos
she thinks of summer fort-making,
unfolding fairytales from the flimsy boxes.
stretches where the box-cutter slipped and bit
underside of her finger-joints, but
mix of lip and Neosporin tinctures
all the remedy she needed.
stove, the copper kettle announces
premiere heat, whistles with a brassy timbre.
tea she makes has a metallic tang
went straight from box to boiling this morning,
wanted to taste its gleaming newness).
hand she goes back to her worship
fingers and fiber, folds the lace back up
can drape his maple leather jacket
favorite thing to borrow).
always been too big and too
In the dark morning she closes her eyes,
her knees under, and thinks of hide-and-seek
her grandmother’s curtains,
radiator murmuring warmth into the fabric.
alright if she fell asleep there
half-way through the after-dinner game.
was always found, pig-tails drooping,
half-smiling in dreams, one cheek pressed
blue, rain framed window.
three monthed seasons later,
found a mouse on your porch.
fit inside the music box that creaked a broken
“Summer Time” as you lay her down.
dressed her in brittle white crystals
you thought of pale lace loosening
between your sure fingers.
ground bent your father’s shovel
you pried the earth open just enough
the little painted box that didn’t sing right.
folded the world back over,
clutched in your fist like a rosary.
wanted to pray—
wasn’t a name.
night you thought of summer,
weight of our little deaths,
name smoldering in your throat,
the flimsy white dress
falling from my shoulders like snow.
plates are smeared with veins of raspberry syrup
the savaged carcasses of cakes.
cacophony of silverware, shouts and lilting giggles
everyone’s favorite song while under the table,
knees wobble and knock like ships
wine dark war waters.
chair next to her, he leans over
makes the promise with the weight of a finger ,
drawing a line across the prickly hairs of her knee.
an old mark, one she has never managed to rub off
he was the restless wanderer of her earth.
grin pulls the moment long and thin, and pulls hard
dogteeth tearing pink muscle string from bone.
does not uncross her legs, won’t risk giving him
anything with a movement of flesh.
glass is at her lip but its scarlet contents slosh
against the pale wall of her bite.
eyes gleam like oil on the street,
tongue flicks at her a forked reminder,
mouth spelling mine.
body move before she can make it
great blood-colored cataract
breaking out of the house
into the night.
cab she glows
perfect grotesqueness of his chin
dripping with her libation
the elegant violence of her silence.
Alexandra Sharabianlou is earning her Masters in English
Literature: Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh,
Scotland. She had won Colombia Scholastic Press Association’s
Gold in free verse poetry, the Lucy Pope Wheeler Prize, and an
honorable mention for the Miroslav Holub Science Poetry Prize.
She currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland but calls San
Francisco, California home.