Phantom Song: July

you start out somewhere & end

up in a strange bed listening to the moaning

in the walls, pretending there’s a trace


of hair-smell in the sheets

or that it could make you know him.

how to say thank you


for being gentle when my head is a great rock

lodged on distance’s shore & never known

kindness as anything more


than a leaky pure

the lived-in body can’t afford.


we hope valleys. we say nothing.

what a stir in the corner

of the eye what a heat-dark shadow.


fallow field, plowed & harrowed

but left unsown, unsung—


even somewhere else & very lonely I am singing you.


Phantom Song: June

glass on the gray coffee table & light came through it in three fragments

little glove, little empty handful of crow


was very much loving me then. hands velvet ghosts

coalescing in sleep. strips of white chiffon

placed over waves. when will I say

enough is. & not have it sound


like sadness flung against a mirror


if having had is present tense

imagining its past. this flippant proximity


its own bloodshadow sweetness. ripe red plum


for the sake of a plum, juice for the sake of lips 


Erin Slaughter is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Elegy for the Body (Slash Pine Press, 2017), and GIRLFIRE (dancing girl press, 2018). She holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University, and is editor and co-founder of literary journal The Hunger. You can find her writing in Another Chicago Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Sundog Lit, Tishman Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Nashville.

June 28, 2018

Poems by Erin Slaughter

<b>Phantom Song: July</b></p><p style="margin-bottom: .0001pt; line-height: normal;">you start out somewhere &amp; end </p><p style="margin-bottom: .0001pt; line-height: normal;">up in a strange bed listening to the moaning </p><p […]
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