Faulkner Slept Here
I fill my hands with dust, watch
where a woman sings, her voice
I twirl in the crowds, my feet a blur
A palm reader draws a map through me:
I pose for a photograph outside Faulkner’s House,
their deep taproots cling to the bodies
that carries on after a door is closed,
Woman Explains Herself
I remember cakes—
pineapple, red velvet, angel food,
Baking vanilla never leaves you.
After a while, you lose your sense of smell—
At the shelter, no one
but we talk about birthdays,
how our Mamas stood in the kitchen,
what chocolate mix tasted like
I’ve drawn up my reflection |
my bones pillars of marzipan.
Taste is a hazard of the lonely;
sit beside someone sucking
and you feel pudding
remember the way
how when you’re a child,
Its little cowl neck is a shade
The pansy & the poesy are twinned
forgot to cut them back.
If we were Siamese, then
The roots are similar:
their notches into the mulch.
>From here, I wear my sun-hat
Stand back, a new bloom
You trample the ground &
I might mend a yellow leaf,
I remember how we met, how
against the couch, fingers
asked if talking meant love
there was no if, then
just chance, a random
I felt it then, the surge
a conversion: one man
how everything I asked—
I broke into, pieced together—
voice under my skin,
How is it that we are not safe, yet?
Once, we were children,
weighted under blankets that held in our breaths,
of our slumber & nightmares.
The hall lights turned off
our mothers & fathers move
where we knew they slept
& we found this comforting somehow,
meant we were all living,
someone was watching over us,
could keep out the boogeyman
Now, we secure ourselves
bring us a voice in a quiet room, a distraction
these babies close, remind ourselves
to fit in someone's lap, once, a hum
Amanda Auchter, the editor of Pebble Lake Review and an editorial assistant at Gulf Coast, has won numerous awards and honors including: third prize (nonfiction) in the 2003 Writer's Digest International Writing Competition, first prize (poetry) in the 2004 Howard Moss contest, finalist (poetry) in the 2004 Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition, and is a 2005 recipient of the Bucknellot Younger Poets Seminar Fellowship. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Born Magazine, Cimarron Review, DIAGRAM, The Evansville Review, Phoebe, Smartish Pace, SNReview, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. She is completing her B.A. In Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Houston.
Copyright 2005, Amanda Auchter. \This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.