I’m the red neon sign above the living room changing space from day library to night bar, a literary bordello. In dark, I wash the walls in red light, a murder scene past police tape. Red tape in a red-light district. I’m a sawed heart
identifying as smeared lipstick across your raw cheek, the one you turn against my need. Red as a halfway house halfway to hell. Red as my rage against secrets hiding in shadows I can no longer afford to cast.
I could change color if this roof’s torn off. If the light’s let in. Sun allows me cooler complexions: the yellow of serenity after four Xanax, the blue of tamped down grief several years beyond loss, the bland pink of sunsets signaling forgotten freedom.
(Corvus Constellation – Raven)
I’m told it’s an aging blue giant, four times the size of the sun. But I have trouble following its mythology, unforking trees and names so similar they slip and whisper out of sight. Only damage lingers as the clearest celestial meme.
In my dream the raven’s restive ash slips under my nightgown, crawls up my torso to my face, whimpering and desperate, smearing salty cinders across my cheeks. I grieve for what he cannot know, what he cannot fix, what he cannot protect.
Apollo’s pregnant lover is deemed untrustworthy due to pregnancy. A woman who spreads her legs for anyone will ostensibly do it for everyone. My imagination my only unvarnished possession. I weep for what I’ve lost. Or rather, for what I never had.
-- Amy Strauss Friedmanis the author of the poetry collection The Eggshell Skull Rule (Kelsay Books, 2018) and the chapbook Gathered Bonesare Known to Wander (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016). Amy’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and her work has appeared in Pleiades,Rust + Moth, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.