I Am Failing You
Here, you can see it in my hands the
way when air fails smoke it wends ash.
A mother’s silence has velocity, wing
speed and at thirty I am still learning
to speak. I say hurdle but mean throat.
I mean sincerely you can jump right
over me, stun me with dust and I will
still bunny-go. Son I already have so
many roles. Dust buster, kiss crafter,
forever disciple of my dance teacher
Ms. Trudeau. I know. I know. Morning
becomes a chalice when least expected
so why can’t I resurrect into something
you can sip on the go? My mother used
to pause the screen on all the ice skating
queens as they waited for their number
to glow – you can’t fake grace – there!
Watch her sparkle shot lips fold, her too
big eyes glimpse God, her bun twitch
against the faux snow. What I mean is
climb up on the moss with me. As equals
in this quiver of ether, we can bereave the
mother-child trope. What I mean is melt
into the peat, use your ankles to breathe,
the bog is not a (b)rink for us to glacier
each other’s heat – No. it doesn’t matter
in what order we grow. Graze your first
taste of champagne, now
touch your toes.
|Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Glass, Mud Season Review, Conduit, and Permafrost, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at https://aed16e.wixsite.com/alexadoranpoet.|
Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.