FIVE MICRO POEMS BY MARNIE RITCHIE
July 15, 2019
TWO POEMS BY LIAM KONEMANN
July 17, 2019

THREE POEMS BY KELLI SIMPSON

Magdalene
All of my favorite witches were staked and burned to bones.
This red dress is the best of the cottonmouth curses
from those pale, open mouth orchids – oracle tongues
in nightshade knots.
All gods work in threes –
a thrice dyed sleeve slipping to bare
a shoulder -shapely, shaping, shape
shifting – maid, mother, crone.
I have strayed, skipping, from the straight and narrow and learned
to love the log in my wandering eye. My Magdalene side
makes merry with forgotten gospels and dreams
of a desert man.
A desert man with strong, laborer’s hands.
A man who knows that water’s good for walking,
but weddings call for wine.
Pictures of
A borrowed dress,
a church,
a man –
something blue.
Packed myself in a penny dreadful –
called it something new.
No one flies as the crow flies now –
or so I’m told.
A borrowed dress,
a church,
a man –
something old.
Free
I can see that she is free, truly free,
and I just can’t help comparing myself –
in my too hot stockings and need to be
noticed iron maiden dress; pouring sweat; breath-
less lungs spanxed small; breasts bound; lips laced with paint;
eyes shaped and shadowed to strange skitter orbs
(peripheral to catch even the faint –
est look of approval and search for more) –
to her, shining naked as the North Star,
kicking her bare feet and screaming her needs
fearlessly, shamelessly, as if they are
the garden itself and not just weeds
to pull as she becomes a “real” woman.
Oh, tend those weeds, child! It’s you you’re growing.

 


Kelli Simpson lives in Norman, Oklahoma. Her work has previously appeared in Riggwelter and Ghost City Review. She loves Corgis, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and early ’90s grunge.