Issue 7 / Poetry

Poetry by Haley Guariglia

Death dreams under the cerulean sky, poolside

sun never sets on skin skin

settles for the sun


sunscreen caught in the cracks

carvings etched in blood


the pool, the palms, the widespread sky

sometimes paradise withholds


hatches spare limbs and stumps

lost my mind when I took a dip


a lifetime of ideations tow

a body unrecognizable


knives and nooses cloud

a mark of madness


on this exquisite perfection without

weights no way to explore the deep


new neurosis, symptoms who counts

three palms are erect and waving


I wave back to ensure my limbs are still

attached by coarse black stitches


I turn on my stomach, eye-level

the water a deep velvet maroon


my name is called by no one

I scribble to tether me to time


pains denouement; a cloud arrives

past selves carry present self to old


wounds, re open them and gouge

when death seems the only way out


of the gate I walk home

under the quintessential California sky


We group from noon til’ three

morsels & molehills bitter

black coffee but there were lids

to cover each other’s


boiling & slow to simmer

we watched each other weep

into years pulled


from pockets, offered behind earlobes

Pain! We shouted, unfair deity

whiplash truth. A succumbing


crawled the room & we

permitted intermittent attention

or held nothing


back and peeled raw

intensive, sensitive we punctured

holes in wounds, made banner


our hells. No & everyone wanted

more eulogies or elegies

it was a scarred scene


complicated by need & want

hearts were emptied, one by

one more than the few. Fear!


we stamped. Help fell around

like leaves arthritic

hands fail to grasp


we group from noon til’ three

a graduation is expected

neither grand nor soon.


Haley Guariglia grew up in the creeks of Columbia, MO and currently resides in Kansas City, MO with her boyfriend and 18 year old cat Fedora. Her interests include interpretive dance, bugs, costume creation and reading aloud. Her favorite poet of 2016 is Kate Marvin. She can be found online on her blog at Selected by David Ishaya Osu.

image copyright Jody Joldersma.