Three Poems by Erin Slaughter

Three Poems by Alana Saltz
April 23, 2018
When I Go I’d Like to be Burned and Spread Through the Fibers of My Shirts by Patrick Panageas
April 25, 2018

Crimson Flower Without a Moon

Anatomy, you are good
at abandonment

Assembly of churning shadows
Muddled hot bruise
of flesh

I believe in endings

You excite the wind and I think
myself ascension. You are a stone

and I am just a person
with a stone in my belly

Crimson flower without a moon, I believe
in the abstraction of an ending

I clean craters of blood from the open bowl
of my thighs (and it might be yours and it might
“be the wet open mirror
of your mouth) and I think about you
to who my unborn eggs are enemies

O that my lungs or any red word could change me



Give me a knife and I will carve
a monument to my failure,
here, to write about death or anything
that matters. Waning gibbous
summons the next or last bad man,
or the first. They all have the same sand-
colored eyes after touching. And hands too tender
not to destroy what they strike. Bitterness: an honesty
that comes when called. I am death-sick
of my own exquisite suffering. Horizon,
keep me shameless as you tumble
into nauseous black. Nothing new
to discover, just a hair-sliver of gloaming
that waits for a resplendent clatter of birds or flies
to make an Irish exit. The same prostituted stars.


Postcards from Bowling Green

Do not pretend to fathom the catalyst for this fracturing. Ration punctuation. Sip gin with dry lips. Paint your mouth crimson when winter doesn’t solve you. Don’t let your body betray you with its magnets, their drawing close to radiation’s polarized pull. You’ve got to be careful. Dignity is a cardinal in the corner of your eye. Devotion is its song, one you catch the edge of as it’s carried into flight, devoured by wind. Bleating out like a too-late warning, the choking car-alarm of the heart.



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.