black textile

Eyes clamp shut,
but the infection spreads
through a tight mouth
and crawls down the throat.

With teeth set to bone,
a thousand complications
bubble underneath
prickly anxious skin.

Head down and blooming,
dark inertia slinks
and blurs the lines
between fear and reality.

© Nancy Botta, 2018



photo of red roses

Her mother fans herself with her peony hat
and smiles under Magnolia shade;
the garden reception floated on
grass stained espadrilles,
polite laughter,
and endless bubbles
of white wine spritzers.

She crashed into a rose bush
like a toddling mannequin
wine glass and high heels flying
thorns snag her ill fitting dress
and mottled flesh
as she hiccups “Immmalriggght”
to the genteel crowd
lingering in the sun
with soggy canapés.

Her mother stares
beneath a wilted peony hat,
thin lips set in
burgundy and disappointment,
she leans in to her daughter
and whispers, “you’re exposed”
before she walks away
crushing rose petals
and apologies
with grass stained espadrilles.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


Keepsake memories.

full frame shot of abstract background

I can barely fathom
what you did to me-
struck down,
on my hands and knees again.

You’ve made it too complicated
for me to let go-
you heard me sobbing for air.

I no longer belong to you
but these tremors remain-
a fist,
lodged in my third eye.

© Nancy Botta, 2018



4 a.m. woman
with too many bruises
and not enough suitcases,
she marches
through the bus depot
(children and pomegranate seeds
trailing behind her)
carrying everything
and the world on her back,
she hopes this time
is the last time she has to fight
over her expired voucher
for a one way ticket out of hell.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


A Conversation.

abstract art black background blur

I’m asking about
the inconsistency and incongruity
within your timeline of events.
(these things matter)

you should have made this
an accidental affair,
but now you forced me
to cover your ass.

you irredeemable twit,
now I have to-
get the acid,
bleach the blood,
and pay up Richard,
for the drums.
(you owe me, motherfucker)

© Nancy Botta, 2018



selective focus photograph of black crow

It was a god awful omen,
but clever crows spoke to me
in windswept auguries
so I had to seek out the old one
to pry the truth from their beaks
and the mystery from their wings.

Chicken bones jangle out of a bag,
tea leaves caught in my throat-
“your destiny is here”
scratched into the dirt,
while ancient bones
root around like scheming devils
breaking all the eggs.

None of it made any sense,
but the gnawing chaos
wrapped itself around my neck
and pulled me like a witching rod
to that stinking, swirling pot
of feathers and false hope,
lies and smashed eggs.

Dead-eyed and weary,
wondering how this gambit prevails
with furtive hands grasping
for reverence and pleading for gold-
there isn’t strength in this ruse,
just my mortal weakness
to trust
that the flapping of wings
means something, anything
to the half cocked soothsayer
fumbling for a metaphor.

© Nancy Botta, 2018




black and brown building

Lips curled;
there’s a painful point
of contention between you,
and a heart full of expectations.

Head down;
I say I can try harder,
but your eyes roll sideways
and I find myself
slipping underfoot.

Open sneer;
you have sharp teeth
and a judgmental tongue,
but I labor under your intensity
and bear the weight of pursed lips.

Wilted frown;
this inadequacy is innate-
I can’t give more
than a mumbled apology
from a sad, sloping mouth.

© Nancy Botta, 2018