Say She Can Stay Veil to Me
Father, the girl is a sheer sheet strung
above busted window, always facing
east, always morning.
Hush the sun. She’s too thin
for such prodding light, Father. Please
don’t say rot — no, not this
hot, clammy fight.
Say she’s only drying. I can see
she’s burning, no fading,
the sick pale, a shit sight.
I won’t draw her open. I’m not that
kind of kind. I could pack her up
in a trunk. I could hold her
folds in these soft-wrought hands.
Father, you won’t take her either,
for fuck’s sake, her night shakes,
pavement prayers. She’s unlatched —
stunk at the sill for years.
In Fear of Springtime
This winter has crumpled the strongest women I know
into bar receipts. I can’t bear see the shit sun, a two-year-old
bikini losing its form, skin creased beyond what love can repair.
Whiskey’d always bring the Jersey back to his mouth.
Last time I slept next to him there were no sheets.
I dreamt we were better approximations of lovers —
less, I told you Baby I’m nothing good, less bravado.
I swear I’ve never been held by anything like daylight.
At least this coldness freezes the fight in everyone.
The nights are soundless. I don’t know much
about guns, but even vengeance takes effort.
I slept in his body like a casket. I’m not sure what I stink of.
I am mostly bruised fruit. I’ve never proven capable of creating
anything. My body, a useless pit —I forget my blessings
and build gods out of bar stools and Tom Waits impersonators.
Stevie Edwards is an MFA candidate at Cornell University. Her first book of poetry, Good Grief, was published by Write Bloody Publishing in April 2012. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Muzzle Magazine, Editor of 4th & Verse Books, and Head Honcho of Brusque Magazine. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Verse Daily, Rattle, Indiana Review, Southern Indiana Review, PANK, and Vinyl.