GRATITUDE POEM FOR ONE OF US
for Jane Meade, after Jean Valentine’s poem for Jane Kenyon
the poet who died yesterday—
her work, I can see the final fray
in crescents and rasps—Jane. I can blubber
for her—Jane—on the quad
the campus fountain I discovered
in the stone co-eds hiking up their clouds
to play in the water—and how
have I never been wet through with Jane
the poet, when I know so many—
their blueprints under our poems
the way this fountain atomizes anyone
gone, never gone, evaporated
refreshed of the cosmos—
this fountain screams J’s,
all of us,
fishhooks in her spray.
BLACK CLOTHES IN A PILE
Past the green markets and electronic hope,
the mannequin leaning into the moonlight,
the whole cascade of her
lit from above, the shoulders’ lightning strike
against galaxies’ obsidian—
the city’s promise of sleep—
transplants surrender their drinks,
lessons learned, an asphalt blur,
eyeliner on a sham, the river-murk
mocking This is the show.
The great ankle straps are wearing!
It’s time to go home!
You’ll soon be among the scavengers
of a different desert,
but to close one eye
on the train—hang on!
This maw blows the pothole-lid
high enough to hang your heels
by the besotted moon.
NEIGHBOR HELD CAPTIVE SPIRALS,
STABS BOYFRIEND FOUR TIMES IN A DEATH SPIRAL
A famine begins in the road’s wound,
the blood snow abandons light’s unopened letter
before dawn wipes away her first wolf moon,
and trucks point like arrows drawn back.
The blizzard warns the forest
free as the mulberry wine forth from his neck.
Mind’s starvation gives puffed chest
to tragedy’s couture—the mountain trailer
stenciled porch signage about the heart
the little dog’s bowl,
deer-head cape in the yard.
I see her after the mess of it—
in the fresh turf laying garden stones
selling walking sticks, etchings—
sleeping pills now headed out to sea.
Her boyfriend will smash her newest phone again
raze the rib’s air-cage,
was my warrior.
Laura Minor won the 2020 John Ciardi Poetry Prize. Her critically acclaimed debut book of poems, Flowers As Mind Control, is on University of Arkansas Press, 2022. She was also a finalist for the 2019 National Poetry Series and the winner of the 2019 ILA's Rita Dove Poetry Award.
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