Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Lucia Galloway

You there,

leaning 45 degrees to the ground,
limbs all sprawl-y out, randomly up,
as if to right yourself. All odd
curves and trajectories, they writhe
like a nest of snakes. Winter,
when you're naked, I'll do my surgery.
Arms and fingers—scores of amputations—
until you're shapely and contained,
a work of sculpture, almost beautiful.
For a six weeks or a month, that is.
End of February, your sap begins
to rise. Don't think I don't notice
those brand new fingers you flaunt
at the ends of your stumpy arms
and your manicure of Easter green.
Almost before I can say lettuce
or lapin, those jelly beans open
into Sunday handkerchiefs, spread out
to dinner plates, and finally assume
the dark-green, leathery mien
of welders' aprons (no wonder
Eve and Adam found them handy).
Fruit? Oh my, yes. At first
you're rather modest,
half hiding them like firm, pink
earlobes under heavy tresses.
But you can't keep it that way,
can you? Come July and August
your offerings are more like fulsome nipples,
rippled skin the color of brothel-curtain velvet.
Gnats, flies and bees dart
in and mosey out. Mornings
there's evidence of rats' nocturnal
romps. Your smooth jewels
open like geodes to reveal crystals
delectable to the mouth—if insects
have not invaded from a split in the skin
to feed now from within. By September
I would be quit of you,
My Nemesis, My Mess. I would
cut you down, dry out your limbs
to use as kindling, but that you stubbornly
persist, insist on being.

BIO:  Lucia Galloway is the author of a chapbook, Playing Outside (Finishing Line Press, 2005). Recent work has appeared in Gertrude, The MacGuffin, Poemeleon, Poetry Midwest, Thema, and the 2007 Her Mark Calendar. Her poetry has been recognized with an honorable-mention in the MacGuffin National Poet Hunt and a Pushcart Nomination as well as with several other awards and prizes. She is a graduate of the Antioch University MFA in Creative Writing Program and teaches writing for Johns Hopkins CTYOnline.