Are those ribs or pillars?
Criss crossing her torso
like cloth bandages;
weathering my bones and
pilfering my brain so my heart
can keep beating.
Two parts disaster
over nine layers of fantasia.
I wanted to know if I would write about us someday
If there would come a time
where I would look at you
and say, “Now, now”
I told you
that even though time is an illusion
there sure is a lot of it
So we kept walking
imagining the moment of knowing it
when would we see it
They make an odd couple,
brother- and sister-in-law,
a nuclear family with no
One does a rich rocking
motion to get out of a chair,
waddles to the mail box,
carries in the groceries
he cannot see. The other shuffles
across the kitchen floor,
dragging her bad leg
in order to serve a meal, leaning
in to avoid the last few steps,
sliding the plate halfway on to
the table with her finger tips.
The light is dim, life
on days they feel up
to an outing, a drive
by the graveyard. A couple
of neighbors check in
periodically; a guy mows
the lawn. No more secrets
to be made, only silence
moving in; silence and more
sleeping. No more turning
stones to find happiness—
what happiness they have
they have to make.
Melva Sue Priddy
In the lottery office,
men who still wear suits
go through corridors
made of plaster board
Urgent as a drive-thru,
they do not stop long
for photos with the press.
Lush pigments blending
cacophony of color
Harmony in hues
I have a television that sits in dust
On a table in front of my couch
Usually never turned on
I have two remote controls
One Samsung and one that is red
With a Cardinal
Yet I’m at my desk listening
To a white woman pick from desperation
And something about a crime scene
She sits outside a shitty bar frequented by undergraduates
and adult women who wish they are undergraduates
objectively, everyone smoking at this table is hot
my turn ons include smoke from blue boxes and freckles
I make a mental note about Freud.
He sits outside a shitty bar frequented by black jeaned degenerates of all ages
keeping an eye out for curly haired little girls
for whom cigarettes are still a bad example and a bad omen
what really changes in forty years
besides maybe a brand and a bedroom?
Joni Mitchell sweet blue fingers to her lips
traipsing around the world stroking custom made dulcimers
writing the things that lived inside all of us adolescent girls
she sits beside me in my bedroom
and talks about truly all I want.
Everyone I give a shit about smokes American Spirits.
I’m paid by the hour
to transcribe principals’ thoughts
on school improvement
while I watch a herd of lionesses
try to take down a water buffalo.
The starving cubs watch the adults
as they embed their claws in the black hide
and blood darkens their fur from lip to throat.
When a threat is made
against her school
the principal says
it will be her face in the paper
if a kid gets hurt on her watch.
Side by side
in the diner,
Gram and I
my boyfriend read
The two Maggies,
the family resemblance.
like my namesake.
I used to
like my mother.
the missing link
in a chain
of bright-eyed women:
your face go?
Why did you
weary the bones
the mapped us?