first published in Rhythm n Bones Lit & Dark Marrow mags.
Ghost Fractures There's twang tangled in my roots, but it only unspools inside loss. Grief rolls syllables across my tongue, transforms ain't into a lullabye. Language fractured by ghosts. I can almost hear the trailer park girl I was, spinning circles in her room. I wonder when she became so afraid to let her bloodline tumble from her mouth. Maybe it was the first time Death stood in her doorway, rolling a cigarette for someone she loved. That girl wanted grease-spattered comfort, husky Appalachian pronunciations and dropped g's, and all she got was more loss. Now I cling tightly to my accent, a connection to my beginnings that can only be put away rather than stolen. In the Abbatoir We watch with eyes full of moon as she crosses the tile floor, sensible shoes clicking a metered rhyme. She wears a jacket, like a banker, but underneath she's as sad as the chipped glitter polish that lines my fingernails. Under her examination I am still, bloodless wounds marking my time, a lump in my throat that betrays my voice. She doesn't feel my gaze as she dips her finger into a pot of mentholatum and smears it across her lip, doesn't see my contempt as she steadies her shaking hands. Those suits will never take her seriously, not with those cheekbones. With the snap of powdered gloves she reaches into my throat, her interest piqued as the voices outside the door fade. Their expectations were low, the beer bellies sheathed in pinstripes and coffee-stained ties, not bothering to mask their derision. From the soft pink tissue she pulls a cocoon and the moth unfurls its wings across my vision. Here I am there and all the spaces in between. I tell her my secrets, my throat unstuck, focus narrowed down to millimeters. I tell her that she can leave but she'll never get away, we are all just lambs crying in the night and the abbatoir is always full. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091MB6B2C/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i7 Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Amanda Crum Poetry by Amanda Crum : An Offering https://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Snow-Poems-Inspired-Breaking-ebook/dp/B07PCKHVKM/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=amanda+crum+books&qid=1638902159&sr=8-4