Remapping the route back to Brattleboro, our footfalls shudder like a shot
of neat whiskey. We can’t be real
when memory gets blackout drunk. Let’s step off-sync, wind-up toy soldiers
set loose, split seconds apart.
Bearskin is filling my eyes with sweat. You’re the saltlick, where every buck
wants to take a good slobber.
These woods blister with silence. It began when oral history caught venereal
from truths rubbed into lies.
New feelings can’t lichen over what we remember. It’s easier if you swirl past
in a triple-hooped skirt and hood
to execute your own murder. Stay for a slow waltz. I’ll bite the sea pearl off
your earlobe. Swallow it down,
because unbalanced corpses can’t unzip God’s clouds. This jewel settles my guts
forever, as my weepy heart rides
your ribs’ bell jar. Our lives tether in gory symmetry, still you barrel down
the path, careless as I follow.
Lauren Turner wrote the chapbook We’re Not Going to Do Better Next Time (Knife Fork Book, 2018). Her writing appears in Arc Magazine, Minola Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Lemon Hound, carte blanche, BAD NUDES, Peach Mag, and elsewhere. She lives in Montréal, Québec on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people.