Rosemary’s procedure.

abstract background black and white board

I used to like roses,
and a stiff drink-
I can’t recall now,
it makes the scar itch.

They said I argued too much,
“quarrelsome and prone to hysterics”-
footnotes to an epithet (or is it epitaph?)

Sometimes my skull aches,
and sometimes I forgetthereisaspacebetween
like a pocket of air
beneath the skin.

(helpless blood pooling
into a nice white space)

I don’t know why
I’d bang and scream,
why I’d claw at my arms
and let things vex me so much,
claw at their eyes
and let them vex me so much.

but they had a cure,
a treatment for tempests
drinking from tea cups-

I told them
I told them
I don’t like the blankness
filling up my mind—

did you know
I used to like roses
and a stiff drink?

© Nancy Botta, 2019


Generation Loss.

Generation loss of a happy moment—
sun and grass, watermelon smiles
loop back
cut the noise
record, lets try that again.

Static glows from her head
and pitch shifts her voice
(the one you almost forgot)
when she pulls you in and says
“smile for the camera!”—
red juice drips off your chin
as you jostle pink meat
against white teeth and full cheeks;
beaming at a little red light
beaming like a little sun.

Generation loss of a happy moment—
sun nd grss, watermlon smils
loop back
cut the noise
record, lets try that again.

© Nancy Botta, 2019


Cotton mouth.

white smoke

I like a blank silence
and that I get too high
to hear words flare out—
I fog up windows
because I don’t want
angry spittle in my eye.

It’s okay to be lonely
and twist myself away
from nagging hands—
there’s no tension
in a bouquet of vapors,
just a softly unfocused smile.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


Golden afternoon.

she’s on her back
numb and bent
staring at a stucco ceiling.

She hears
insects scream
and birds kill their weaklings.

she wonders if this pig-man
will ever finish
and sputter up a sad seedling.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


Atavistic violence.

dark dawn dusk evening

(Before it mattered-)

I was a midnight ghoul
casting prayers and hexes,
leaving stains where I knelt
before an empty bed—

(But now-)

I smear lipstick
to find something holy,
I bare atavistic teeth
and take a bite of God—

(However later-)

I scream out filthy curses,
I spit out belligerence,
I roar out the names
of every motherfucker
that ever laid a finger on me.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


Suburban Aviary.

YogaFit at the gym,
she preens in the studio mirrors,
ruffling and smoothing her hair back
before she swoops into swan pose.

She pecks at the granola
and blankly stares out
the floor to ceiling windows
in her open concept kitchen.

An errant feather
from the duvet
floats past an empty wine bottle.

She sharpens
her fingernails into talons
before her husband
can belch and lumber
his way into bed.

The owl calls,
and everything in her body
is screeching for flight.

©Nancy Botta, 2018