ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem | next poem →

Or To Release Death

Laura Madeline Wiseman

Maybe the lady of death lives inside us. She's part of our muscles and bones. When we meet with the energy lady with pillows and sheets patterned in daffodils, she tries to push her out. We awe at the pain. We brace against the way she contorts us under pilled cotton, as if we might snap, as if some push will be our final. I can't help but moan. You never moan. Am I going to be covered in bruises tomorrow? we ask, wondering if to let her out there must be damage, the blue-black of ache, the start of a low ringing in the ears. I'm working with your fascia, she says—whoever they are. You're not interested in fascia, the sheet that sort of hid the corrugated metal ceiling, the '80s boom box, the bad painting of the angel man with a quiver—Eros, Fabio, or Icarus—whoever. We want the lady of bones inside us to crawl out, to take her teeth, eyeless sockets, frazzled hair, and go. I don't ever want to hear her high-pitched dirge inside me again. How do you feel? she asks after we've put back on our clothes. I want to say something about the skeletal hands that have loosened at our throat, the pressure of her against our hips, now gone. But we can't say that. That would be weird. So we ask about foods, stretching, energy, and gongs. You ask about a detox plan to flush her out.

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012), the collaborative book Intimates and Fools (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014) with artist Sally Deskins, and the chapbook Spindrift (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). She is the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013).

ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem | next poem →

ISSUE TWO: Sly Early Stem

Jude Marr

Bill Neumire
   Water Cycle #1: To Whom
       Shall I Return

   Water Cycle #3: I Thought
       There Would Be More

Laura Madeline Wiseman
   Or To Release Death

Magus Magnus
   Payload Dump (3 excerpts
       from drone: poetic monologue
       for monotone

Aimee A. Norton
   Apache Code Errors
   No Sin Like Arson

Katherine Swett
   Translations of an
   Algorithmic Love Poem

Amy Schreibman Walter
   Online Dating Inbox

Paul Strohm
   Our Interregnum

KJ Hannah Greenberg
   The Sanctity of Lists
   Assistance with Quickly
       Becoming Unbearable

Susan L. Lin
   When You Are Sleeping

Ana Maria Caballero
   Another Airport Poem

Ann Skiöld
   Emily Dickinson Did Not
       Drive A Car

Jeremy Dixon
   In Retail (xxii)

Pete Coco
   Especes Perdue

Jessica Joy Reveles
   Surviving the Desert