THREE POEMS by Shelly Taylor

Thereof the time the sun is rising upward, its fowl rising, mine.  A fire set forth about his feet, devours at him burnt offerings continually before he fields the noon like whiplash; for every goat & cattle on the hill are hungry.  If in the case I would not tell you or drink blood, no tongue deceit to blot out the name of.  What us.  What is winged up, what sings about the sea line is wistful.  Have you not felt this by the sea.  I am the green olive tree forasmuch as I made brass a rotten wood, his strongest neck unflinching & mine have seen no family to speak of.  This vain delight not through my legs two screaming its way into the world, nothing descending saying kill & eat into my ears, not seeing the sun for a season, this is imposed by hands, his envy of my living after I should not have; his wrath.


If you yourself were offended, rejoice with me neighbors & friends, I have my sheep that were lost.  If he found your skirt was too long, your very breadth appalling, you are swung back, nipped into the thought transom you should be alone.  You are okay.  The younger son must be riotous, in want, & the daughter, hmm.  If longing were your chestbone condition, velvet your ears from the hearing; Neda, I’ve not felt political urges of dissent against a government in a long while, but your condition, it affects me.  I watched your death on the street.  Belen the fourth story flight up is long down & you would hurt your limbs or lungs from the air rush.  Quiet now, the hot water is working & your state is to not be such chaos, today.


When your face is muddled, looks like crying or drunk, I have a mich ultra, that’s what’s in the fridge.  If I weren’t ocd, I’d throw the house on the floor, red dolly pushup, red garter for daddy.  Instead gnats, I sprint madly down the sand a mile back home from the Ritz where my cousin Cheenie gives facials to old rich men wearing nothing.  I grieve unusually, things that can’t matter, the dog lost, the picture of just his eye & the sallow underneath which scared more than just his father.  There is Atlantic wind here, neon trading company sign says remember Father’s Day the 20th.  Matanzas Ave. means a massacre, I sit its balcony overlooking not an abattoir, the sea, how at its lowest after the storm, tide pools, tiny embryos that won’t make it back again; we get pulled there between later & the morning when I can think straight again, the rest of the east coast sleeping.  These valid questions I can’t quit but jump when I see how holy the sun on the water is lowering.  I’ll not love again I think, laugh for myself, another best seller list, the night birds, the wasps.  On the town widow’s walk the woman looks outward to the sea becomes a wailing wall.  Atop the mansion town center.  How many unmarried, never had babies watches the sea, I cannot hold myself Sheila E., the oaks the moss, the bending, the knees of my body have always been skint up.


Shelly Taylor is the author of Black-Eyed Heifer (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010)—as well as the chapbooks Peaches the yes-girl (Portable Press at YoYo Labs, 2008) & Land Wide to Get a Hold Lost In (Dancing Girl Press, 2009).  She maintains a blog at

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