My Heart is an Envious Prisoner at the Party
Written by Karissa Seibel
Stealth and her sisters have taken
residence at the cul-de-sacs of my nerves.
They held house warmings,
let the hot air humble itself until
it sank down upon the guests’ shoulders
as a cool, refreshing breeze,
served hors d’oeuvres for every thought of their origin.
When you look me in my eyes tonight,
you’ll find it useful to know my envy
for the ones who aren’t afraid to dance
at the party, the ones who bulldoze
the properties of preconceived panic
and stomp the dust into the ground while
luscious laughter sings between their lips.
I have tried all my life to let myself out
of my meaty enclosure, but
there’s a reason they call it your rib cage,
for how can a heart never, at least once,
feel like a prisoner?
When I tell you I do not wish to go out tomorrow,
know that I am not surrendering my plight,
but I am finding a loophole -
a place where I can unlace the corset,
let myself bulge as I ooze a sugary sap of porcelain melting,
of nature in its nonjudgmental air.
When I confess my love for you,
you might find it monumental,
for I have never been this wide open.
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By Jayla Martin
Ethel Beauregard is not dead.
Ethel Beauregard is alive.
She died, not with a choked gasp, scream
Not metal or a screech
Ethel Beauregard died of paper cuts on her fingers and face
She died, not of heartbreak, but of a heart made whole too many times.
She did not die with her whole life ahead of her,
For she was old, and knew better than to dream,
Nor with her whole life before her eyes
But thinking only of one place…
Somewhere in the world there is a procession of weepers, dressed in black, and circling an open grave.
I am not there.
I am in a library.
A forgotten corner
Full of yellowing books of poetry and light from a single window,
a wooden chair, and a single desk
And perhaps I knew her better than anyone else:
For she did not die full of courage, strength or humility,
But full of brass keys to unopened locks to unopened rooms that lay old and forgotten,
She died full of yellowed letters, tragedy unread
She did not live of cloud and light
But of wood and dust she is buried
As she always was.
She did not die of old age
It was not old age that killed her
Don’t look for her in a hole, or at a grave of stone.
She is not there.
Ethel Beauregard is buried here
In the forgotten corner of a library
Among yellowing books of poetry
In the light from the window
Among spines of poems that mourn and weep the emotions never read
The forgotten poetry of the unnamed thousand
Covered in dust
Ethel Beauregard is not dead
For she lives in the corners of a library
Where forgotten things go to rest.
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