Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
Ars Antagonism
Babette Cieskowski

I can’t be a poet. I’m afraid of birds.
My language has no landscape.
I’ve never cried for silos.

I’m tired of trees, birch oak maple sap.
Lines in pages of pine, moons and fields
and goddamn childhood.

My mouth is a car crash.
I’ll never be free.
My baby tooth sank into my gums

I had no choice, it grew into me.

I’m the owner of someone else’s thought
lost in words like
                  cicada     sumac     valley     love.

Let’s talk about dahlias! Such a beautiful
death, brown and smelling of
                  nothing. Night-blooming Jasmine
afraid of the light.

                  I’ve been wrong about these things
                  but I’ll go on.

What’d I dream of?
                  Marble Falls on fire.
                  Pearls and moonglow.
                  Venus mornings.

I dreamt about how short I’d be
if my legs decided to move on
without me. How much they’d learn
without an ass for a head. I don’t trust myself.
I don’t trust you either.

But maybe keep the flowers.

About Babette Cieskowski

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