A Queens Ransom
I used to think myself such the righteous defender of dandelions. But every weed takes its turn. I rubbed them on everyone’s chin for the stolen child who whipped the rushing river with her golden hair drown leaves and unquieted mothers’ dreams I’d left her for my own essential source of panic in the error of my evolution I’d lost something, maybe never had it—sure that my body had something to do with it, our espousing self, the androgynous Animus kept warm with bread and olive oil, burned but raw at the core I do not know what else to do honored and revered, cult-like with our own despair around and around the same impasse. What are your personal disciples like? Children wandering in someone else’s field. I am almost totally deaf. All I can hear is the harshest of birds—crows, blue jays— the pounding washing machines, buzzes of the phones— everything non-essential comes through. Nettle and pigweed. I see it like a boat on the empty lake rowing its empty passengers towards me. I’m tired of wine, tired of trying. It’s like there are the canonical gospels. And then there’s the oral tradition of screaming.
During the Nap
A ball of light at the perineum makes its way to the skull like an air bubble in the vein. Your daughter is sleeping. Her lashes down like the fringe of piano shawls. Her fingers point at an angle like a Giotto. She is sleeping and for a moment you are free. But all you can do is wait and watch. It is all your fault—that she is stunning and innocent and defenseless. You are the battery inside the frightening bear that speaks and sings like an evangelical when shook. You’re the freak at the gate who will do anything for the tiny mad queen. The sniper in the tower with no name.
Secretly, the plan is to drink and drink and drink the whole fucking world—well who has a better idea? There’s a lot more apart from self hatred…isn’t there? Why does it seem so crucial? Well, someone needs to hold you accountable for being born at the top of the food chain. You sit there looking out the window at the perfect balance of it all hoping no one asks what it means. O, you know what it means. You feel aghast at it. In your ganglia, your kidneys. When it hits home, (which it does at least once every day) that it is something good, not to be suicidal over, you shudder and shift and exploded within, much like the world did when it was made.
Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. Her books include Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House & Octopus Books 2014) and The Mobius Strip Club of Grief (Tin House, 2018). Her poems have appeared in The Baffler, The New Yorker and Poetry. Her newest book is “A Little Called Pauline,” a poetry comic’s children’s book of a Gertrude Stein (Penny Candy Books, 2020). She lives in Vermont.
Featured image: ractapopulous (Pixabay)