Toilet Map

Mighty Pen silver spoon has cocked……….me flattened to a skirt……….against the door

………………………………….name a tectonic plate after my two children

shudder asunder…….if I dig his meaning

……………………………………………………………………..shovel feed paper rising gullet call it sun

 

the spoon they found nestled in cavity………. i examine for a shovel’s purpose………here in

miniature…………………………there lift……….covering ground……..makes me…….hiccup in the earth

 

………………..they plan to name my death flower and fuck the earth with me

 

foie gras our delicate constitution………. he arms a cabinet door to envelop my folds

fish for continence……….they’ll lower line to hook a phrasing from my gut……….draw back out

an underused guidance……….white star topped……….covered in stomach acid and my nursery quakes

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Candy Map

“Due to the fact that people from other neighborhoods truck their children into this neighborhood by the dozens, this house will no longer be handing out candy. Thank you for ruining Halloween for us and the children who actually LIVE HERE. Thank you for understanding, NOW GO AWAY!” –whiteboard 2016

Someplace else enrages the turtle why a turtle a turtle never did anything to me okay then an old white man with a sign.

He is very attached to this place, and nowhere.

I liked to think that the children could have distributed detailed instructions, sheets of squares and letters, a doodled trove of historical candy. What houses bothered most last year, and where to go now.

The not turtle smells someplace else in the paint. The store sold me four ounces of green for this. He cries a foul molasses to unfamiliar mouths, tiny and waiting, the join after trick. That isn’t the scent. That’s his rotting pies in the oven on the lawn, wind cuffed and spraying back at him. Little mouths bloodhound the candy, because childhood is more jealous than an animal could be.

Mine are unwelcome travelers. To say mine is to welcome. But no turtle cuts his teeth on strong markers to write them away.

I am trying very hard to tell him this. My mouth is full of dry thread and maternal concern.

I know this is not our neighborhood. The shells collect a sky to tell us that.

Children don’t actually talk to each other all that much. The institutional memory of chocolate and air and which houses brushes for teeth. I knock myself out a mouthful to lead us home again.

Mine oldest holds my older hand. Someplace else pushes our blood consistently in a circle. Her mouth could slice a red fruit open on the lawn. I salt pockets of the ground ahead of her, and she grows feet first from the grass before his door.

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Jessica Lawson’s poetry has appeared in The Thought Erotic and Dusie, and her reviews have appeared in Jacket2. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and is currently in the MFA poetry program at CU-Boulder, where she teaches classes on creative writing and LGBT literature. She is a queer single mama of two children.