The Moon Opts Out of This Poem
Ascending summer crawls / a slivered moon into Gemini /
Thoughts cloister inside my throat / hopeful you’ll close one hand
there / choke them out in a stream of white birds / I wish I loved
like a song / leaps from every window / opened / But what’s the song?
you’d ask because context / is enough of a riddle / I haven’t heard it
for awhile / since that ruelle / since it was lunarless and all noise / became his
uneven panting until / I don’t know / let’s pretend it stopped /
Sorry where was I / my answer wasn’t supposed to run / after
your inquiry on dirt-streaked thighs / no no no / a self-made synecdoche /
If my objective were to share this / violence / I would explain why
the jury felt / pacifier-mouthed / assured by the defense / that crimes can only occur
with a full moon / without a 19-year-old accuser / wearing jeans in a heatwave /
who’d even do that / who’d believe how anxiety hardened inside the stone
fruit pulp of her belly / how fear pulled sap from her veins / it’s the blood on his leg /
Better to describe that summer with all its surfaces / cast in moonbeams /
River water / beer bottlenecks / Hands / The riddle is where you imagined
the hands / Clasped about a water-sweating Heineken / or slipping under
black shallows / impermeable as ripples / permeable as so-called facts /
What you answer splays open / your history of violence / Forgive me
for this eclipse / I haven’t written the moon into a poem in years /
You Said I Was Disappointed in You and I Said Differently
I distill the ending of a friendship down to one line. Not everything
merits a public exploration.
Going in, another friend admits, I assume all friendships are terminal.
The safety of this evening is its lack of possibility, confined by ridges
of mountains, velvety with conifers and distance.
Threats only exist if you can spy them, weaving the underbrush
with bodies. I’m sorry, hey, August wasn’t supposed to get so loaded.
Lauren Turner is a disabled writer whose debut poetry collection, The Only Card in a Deck of Knives, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in August 2020. She lives in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal on the unceded land of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation