Issue 2, Spring 2007


by E.V. Noechel


She had lips like the speck of blood in albumen,
A virgin drop swimming in clear viscous fluid, broken
shells . She talked of awkward, grunting boys like
sapphires in silver, proud of her blue black battle scars, showing
them off like precious robins' eggs. Smeared
bruises slathered on with warm sticky saliva,
remnants of night, like edema, drawing vultures.

Like smoking, only the toxic feel alive really. She
had cars, noise, and humid skies. I had books,
dust, poptarts for breakfast and a long cold dream
of love with the one she found funny, not in the charming way.
His faded black t-shirts I imagined smelled like kittens,
Pretending some day his call, the one she was never home for,
Shaking her head when I said hello and his name
Into the receiver…pretending it might be for me this time, but
He was her tragic heart, scratched cd, dead puppy
Love, broken-hearted rock star and you can’t change
That with a dozen preening feathers or even hard-boiling,
Offering him a drink to spit the pain inside.

She flaunted suicide attempts like a status symbol,
time served like fluffed plumage
while I watched my thumping breast carved
at the dinner table with a roast chicken and cold peas.
We were stuck together like mucous, me and her
long pointed fingernails, thick, red, and chipped. I ducked,
she found me, smelling my corrosive fear knowing the sound
of my awkward cormorant gait. We shared her space because I could not
speak. Caged, having long forgotten what anything looks like
without stripes in front of it. Hand-me-downs holding White Shoulders
tight against my skin till I am unsure I ever had a scent, though
if I did, it was powdery, soft and easily scattered.

A shining black bird, she rained plucked opalescent feathers in
a trail behind her. I quietly picked them up and pressed
them between dictionary pages, smudging words with clear oil,
Stacked pages that crushed not only stiff feathers, smooth and slick,
Preserved by pressure, but my thin white fingers, bits of eggshell
pale and clean like shards, an ovum tapped open on the sharp
formica counter. First little fissures, then, just a speck
of blood, flicked away cleanly.