Following are just a few poems by Laura A. Lionello from an upcoming collection, Panic Kit, to be published soon by Weak Creature Press in Los Angeles! I met Rich, a friend of Laura's, while on the bus en route to work. Usually folks are reading the Red Eye or staring into space, thus I couldn't resist asking Rich about the big stack of poems on his lap. Laura, pictured, lives in Logan Square. You can read more of her poems here.
In the dream I wanted a child so badly
that I invented one.
I carried my dummy child up and down the bleached
aisles of the grocery store,
a brunette doll with painted eyes, moving
eyelids, and real lashes. I juggled her flour-sack
body in one arm and the cereal boxes and
soup cans in the other.
But, because I wasn’t versed in caring for a child,
I forgot her. I left her in the dairy case
when I picked out the eggs, left her dumb, full diaper
warming the butter and spoiling the yogurt.
The checker in the express lane
wore a green smock and had a soft
pink scar above his left eyebrow.
As he handed me the change
he looked deep into me
where a soft wind fluttered, where
a sea of bile lapped quietly
in my belly
and he knew
I was not a real mother.
Ashamed as a sunburn,
I took my canvas sack and passed
through the automatic door as a long row of carts
as gnarled as the index finger of an old woman
moved in my opposition.
One winter night in Boston we stood
still on the back porch of my sister’s house and
smoked as the black-boned arms of the
hedge maples took us in their grooved embrace.
The sky clear, the stars sharp and hung low.
A kindless bird pealed on about the way
things are done in this type of world, the
type where you don’t spend time counting stars
without expecting something from the result.
Maybe there is a god, you said, but that’s
not the issue now.
If there, he can’t be bothered with failures
like these. There are some losses
you just don’t get over.
This is not to say that my pain is
than your pain.
A pregnancy I terminated: One new body
added to my constellation of errors.
I pry open the bathroom window
from the inside to get to the outside,
cut the screen and crawl out backwards, feet first.
I am fever chart and lipsticked mouth
angry need and sagging belly