I didn’t keep a close enough eye on Black Elephant, and the latest issue that includes two of my poems came out on May 9. My poems don’t appear on the website, but they’re in the .PDF and print copy available on the site. I’m proud to have my work in the journal, and I post them below for your curiosity:
Interspecies Communication Breakdown
The hammer-toed mermaid doesn’t get me.
Why would she?
She breathes water and I breathe air.
On a hot Tuesday–
a scorcher, 115 heat index,
frogs fried on the pavement
and offered up like appetizers
in the heat mirages,
as thousands of people hid
inside freezers and thawed
out ice cream trucks with their rage–
her tail shriveled up
to black, sludgy foil
from which she gingerly stepped
with hideous, just-birthed feet.
We stared at each other.
What could we say?
Words became non-paying tenants
in our mouths. We evicted them
and were left with nothing.
Our Last Visit
The pounding of the moon
in your eyes is staggering
to an old lycanthrope like me—
not really, but my spirit
is toothy and full of matted fur
stained with recent murder,
the scent of a thousand dozing
heads like flower-tops, lopped
off just before dreams lowered
screen to begin their nocturnal films.
Your blood beats strong, my dear,
and teaches the sky a thing or two
about perfect timing and pitch,
that infinitely-tunable switch
deep inside you that goes from sweet
to sour to death’s grinning rictus
if I but nudge it a little with my claw.
Hand. Sorry, it’s a hand, I know,
that wanders across your bare flesh,
pausing here and there to scratch.
Keep staring at me like that
and surely I’ll transform.
We’ll take the night together,
and then I alone will be left,
memories of you in tatters
around my tight haunches.