Stacy Miller

Contributions:

ON SLAUGHTERING THE HENS LAST SUNDAY

slaughtering-hens
 
August clung tiredly
to the hidden parts where our limbs connect
holding our breathe on humid mornings
when full exhales seem hopeless.
 
“I don’t mind the noise,” the neighbor said.
“It’s them country smells that get me.”
 
But the indoor temperatures more approximate
the outdoors now, the air like a Mutsu
sweetening the view
of things dying while we dream:
lawns that stole our weekends away;
mosquitoes that chased us back inside;
weekend alarm squawks that awoke the block;
days so long that the possibilities
seemed stifling;
 
the chlorophyll that cloaked the sunset shade of maple leaves,
dried-blood oak, yolk-yellow ginkgo.
 
Now, with the freezer full, let’s be honest
fall was how we really felt
all along.
 

CIRCUMNUTATION

circumnutation
 
 
This is the last
time I can say that last
time I was here
I wore that blue skirt all wrong
partly unzipped and rolled down below
the eight month orb
that buffered me from all embraces.
 
Last time I was here my heart was a balloon,
a waiting room, inflating, making space
for the softest supernova.
His eyes would unfold me.
 
Every day is an anniversary of something
I’d never marked on a calendar:
the first car, an appendectomy, the third kiss,
the pie crust finally unburnt,
the night he walked north, I walked south
arcing away from the dark center
of the silent playground.
Children readied for bed
in the surrounding apartments;
plywood doors slammed through the open windows.
 
Maybe this is the day I’ll mark
with the epiphany that nothing but clocks
move clockwise.
Not the climb of vine, not hips twining
around ghosts in the dark,
not the wheels of the train squealing
into the station
where he waited
a cyclone of acronyms for the most
inconceivable affection
last time I was here.
 
 
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