Katherine Fallon

Laurel

I live in denial, and move from top
to bottom, left to right. Regardless

of what role I play with you, I’m happy
to let you lap me every time. It may be

true that we are nearing the end,
but we’ve still got some light left

and a place to go to, go around,
to harness. Think fainting goat, unshod.

Pronounce the word laurel. If you can
help it, Prettiest, join in. Shudder.

Striking Eel

In order to feel powerful, I pretend
to choose over sleep, a change of clothes.

Itʼs happening to me.

Brightest eyes of all in the sheet-less
hours of early morning. Tongue

the most secretive, striking eel.

Breastbone most visible, most wanted
and so most likely to split open

onto white meat and, really,

the handsomest of purple hearts.
Iʼd salt it to keep it safe, I would.

Make believe I have the choice to fall

and so, fall.

If the Room Caught Fire

Heirloom garnet choker, wedding dress pillowed inside
a dry, paper cloak. Passport and birth certificate, provided
your mother hasn’t failed you and lost it.

The box that belonged to you at 13 reads You Probably
Shouldn’t Open This.
Inside, love letters folded to be birds,
written on birch bark, sprayed with perfume.

I’m not even kidding. Your privacy, once endangered,
is given now to strangers on the train, the bus. Any queue
is now a chance to speak. You think the past a reason,
so you explain it, but you don’t understand:
it doesn’t say anything about you.

Gold Star

Dog-tongue boutonniere, seamed
stockings, black garter belt

or slow song. Hand on the gear shift,
soft-centered truffle, oyster splayed

like a crime scene. Always, the clanking
of teeth: a toast. Always, a woman’s spirited

breath the hot air of an oven,
yeast risen against me.

Katherine Fallon’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Colorado Review, Juked, Meridian, Foundry, and others, and will be included in Best New Poets 2019. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters, is available through Finishing Line Press. She shares domestic space with two cats and her favorite human, who helps her zip her dresses.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.