poetry

To give.

I strip off what’s left
just as you asked;

see here are my bones,
they rattle and clang
like teeth in a sink.

Whatever drips
is a mess on the floor;

see here is some hair,
wet and mashed
pulled from my throat.

I’m sorry for the stains
it’s all darker than I thought;

see here are my eyes,
punctured cornea
dribbling ink blots and salt.

It’s all gone
just cavities and echoes;

see here is where I end,
a vanishing fog
wishing you’d tell me to stop.

© Nancy Botta, 2020

Standard
poetry

Reclamation.

cave near body of water at sunset

On the shore of a cave
I had thrown myself in
I smashed up stalagmites
growing from my skin
and sawed off stalactites
dripping off my chin.
/ /
New flesh, pink and sweet
like pearls and starfish
scattered at my feet.

© Nancy Botta, 2020

Standard
poetry

Mumblecore.

abstract wallpaper

Lips curled;
there’s a painful point
of contention between you,
I,
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, 2019

Standard
poetry

Lavender sachets.

white petaled flowers

One night
she came home alone
and slumped into
a dozen throw pillows
clustered like fungi
on her floral couch—

face down in polyester,
everything smelled like
musty lavender,
wilted bra straps,
and the wandering musk
of a man gone astray.

© Nancy Botta, 2019

Standard
poetry

Washing the dishes.

 

black and white blur cigar cigarette

A soapy ceramic serving dish
struck the low corner of the wall;

she never liked Toile curtains,
she never liked the look
her father-in-law gave her,
she never liked her blonde dye job,
or the way her husband wants her
to just lay there—

the shards were swept up
after two bitter cigarettes,
and a bit of pillow screaming.

© Nancy Botta, 2019

Standard