NaPoWriMo: poems 1-3.

April is, of course, National Poetry Month. Last year I participated in the 30/30 challenge, writing 30 poems in 30 days. I’m trying it again this year, but I decided it on a whim, on the 2nd. So I’m a day behind. Every 3-5 days, I’ll post a digest of the few poems I’ve written (so as not to inundate you with daily posts). Occasionally, I may include some commentary, but that’s still up in the air. Let me know if you’re interested in the process; I’ll pontificate if it’s wanted. *shrug*

Anyway, here are poems 1-3, written between April 2 and April 4:

poem 1: surfeit

but tonight, let us feast
at the table of what wasn’t.
we will dine on the scraps of
an undercooked love,
use old letters as our linen,
dip our fingers into
the cleansing bowls of all
our ancient secrets. we
will sip hours on a claret
of could’ve-beens,
and at last, when our
rack of regrets is served
we will get through the brine
and the sinew. then, we
will suck dry the bones.

poem 2: picture day, overton elementary: chicago, 2011

(for ukailya lofton)

1.
the candies crinkled
and clacked in her plaits
and the smacking of seven-
year-old lips filled with
blue raspberry
cherry and
watermelon bliss
whipped down the full
length of the hall.
ukailya was having a ball,
green apple grins glossing her
mouth as she waltzed
from class to cafeteria,
cheerily letting her friends
pluck the low-hanging fruit
in her hair. and there, with
the promise of plentiful
wallet-sized keepsakes
of the day she was deemed
the sweetest girl in school,
she skipped into computer
class, the sparkle of flash
bulbs alight in her eyes.
come here, sweetie, her teacher
cooed like the serpent of Eden,
comb your hair into your face
with your fingers. it’s cute.

2.
strip her of anonymity.
auction her to the avatars
and trolls, who skulk
beneath bridges and
grab for young girls.
and when you have sold
her off, left her susceptible
to an echoing hall of taunts,
return to your post, where i
hope you are haunted, by
the wilt of her smile as
she says: “I feel sad that
she put my picture on Facebook.

I don’t think she liked it.”

poem 3: gleaning

i am no Ruth and you,
no Boaz, but were you
a silo, i’d scale your walls
and climb in, gather your sins
into baskets, trudge them out
to the threshing floor.

(our lives are more than the
parables preached about them.)

i’d linger on each stalk and lament
that the interesting bits of you
must be blown off by the winnowing
wind of a Savior who requires
pure grain for an unleavened bread.

(i would envy your weevils.)

but eventually, i would sacrifice
you for harvest; that can’t be
helped. some day, you will be
that perfect loaf and i will be a fish
divided for the throngs.

(we are not yet where we belong.)

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