Back to Issue 6
There are corn crop circles hiding behind
the backs of everyone in town, bent ovals,
“I don’t need all the details,” he says.
That’s what they always say when a woman
has to explain why she can’t bare a child,
tosses a cob in the middle of the symbolic
field. I thought I was ready, able to take
on the slaughtering wolves, rotting seeds,
but the stars make me feel guilty, blue with
burning hypotheticals like if your partner died,
and you married someone new, would you
possibly want a child then? Would I possibly
want strangle the light out of my eye sockets
instead? Maybe I could move to Puerto
Escondido and only wear azul…Possibilities,
they’re all manipulators. I want tarot cards to
tell me the message in the carefully-laid stalks,
I want the stalks to guide me into lax black
skies, and when I reach to tie a thread around
a white-hot star, there’s suffering for it, too.
Procedures, my blood drop. It’s so innocent, such
a pie-perfect dab against the sterile floor, or something
that once was, reaching deep into your stomach
and put a clamp on your cervix. Goya knows
it is eternal: the pressure, the grasp from a heavy
hand that won’t let its grip go. It’s bottomless,
deep in the center of crop mazes, deep in women
where cold silver wrenches, like a hunched over
boulder beside every abortion clinic, no shelter.
Today, the angry mothers (who didn’t have the idea
first) and representatives of wooden crosses aren’t
throwing pebbles and condoms at the women
who walk through the doors. The snow is good
for that relief, it keeps all the bears buried below,
although if you crunch gently in the silent woods
after the first few inches have fallen and listen
through the glittering wetness, you can tune in to the low
growling. But if you crouch into the tightest ball,
you can fall like the heavy clumps of flakes rolling off
black branches at the lightest breath, separate into moth mist.
Healing Will Not Look the Way You Want It To
I was seven when death’s deflation scarred my eye sockets,
not opposite, only altered from every sweet Mariachi band song
celebrating the breath of a petal, alchemy of color with absence.
The band always dresses in golden velvets, ringing brass hearts
so loud, the dead in us all quake. My father holds me by the bones,
leads me under limelight, a dead shiny Fir fashioned for shiny purple
lips, pearls, I don’t see white wings. The darkness is just a different
kind of light… I’m such an admirer of the soft glow of skulls now,
I cradle one in my head at all times. Sometimes it reminds me
it’s closed away, but close by; it knocks against my teeth, swirls
through my hair, sometimes it will ask me to give it a silk ribbon to play
with. Instead, I give it matchboxes, ask it to make firecrackers for lips.
Can't Mix the Sun with the Earth
Mashing boiled apples with peaches, he says
there's no better way to mix the sun
with the earth. This baked dough boy, sugar
falls in lumps from his body to the floor
as he shuffles around, gathering spices,
mixing basins, wires, ingredients of comfort.
He sings, "an apple pie without cheese
is like a kiss without a squeeze" and suddenly,
I know he’s right, and every other hot oven
has been baking all wrong, all these years,
the same way painters can't mix acrylics
with tin foil to get the orange, the taupe
just right. The same way relocating
to Florida has never really cured anyone
of melancholia or hysteria, Barry's Florida Water
bottles broken all along the coquina streets.
The advertisements said this state cures land-
locked syndrome, but there's actually nothing
worse for you, standing on a clinging shore,
afraid to get your blouse wet, afraid
of the heaviness of the cloth, the truth of it's salt:
there is nowhere else to go without a paddle.
There's only a path of sunken footprints you
came from, soft cupped hands, not feet,
so you follow them in reverse, although nothing
else is also in reverse. Unfortunate paths, this
must have been what drove Joe Bolton, sinking
down, crusted fingers, smell of salt stuck to every
thing, dried out veins, constant sting of open
wounds, growing entrapment. Sulfur water
can only cleanse black water back to black,
can cure longing for nutmeg, or any wish to escape
sink holes, they are a common feature of the landscape
with lost villas, cars, and bodies included. There's only
the humid balloon in the sky, it hovers the haunted
Atlantic breezes, can't carry me, can’t carry Joe away.
How far back can you remember?
Mixed tea leaves and heart beats so loud,
muddle into sedatives as a counterweight.
In the spirit house, I am alone, inescapable,
the way out only found by looking in,
down through the rafters, only shrieking,
no shimmer, sorry, Ashbery. Sorry Asheville,
I can’t stay. Your hidden black bears,
disheveled Black Mountain are too obvious,
reminders of all we’ve lost. There are so many
secrets in the spine of Appalachia, I’ve
been trying to tap them out, over-turning
musk-covered peaks to catch a clue, only
finding a longing with nothing left to long for,
ennui and burned up roaches. The day after,
I find a single scarlet Carolina leaf alone with me,
and when I pick it up, it pulls me from the fabric
of this world, the lesson: all memories are generic
spectres of truth... I hear your footprints
call my name, but it’ll turn your eyes to orchids
waiting for my signal back, because everything
is an imaginary reason to keep holding out for more.
Kristiane Weeks is a Hoosier with a passion for the arts, something that Indiana is not famous for. She has dabbled in all writing forms, but poetry and creative non-fiction are her niches. She is an MA student studying Creative Writing at Indiana University in South Bend with my BA from Flagler College in St. Augustine.