Featured Post: This Bridge Called My Back – Christine E. Ray

young ones
you glance
in my direction
but you do not see
your eyes slide off me
as if I wear my gray hair
my fine lines
like a woven cloak
of invisibility
should I strip myself
in front of you
baring my vulnerability
baring my rage?
could you then see
what lies beneath?
this bridge
called my back
anchored with bone
cabled with nerve
built on a foundation
of blood
and tears
calcium phosphate
and pain
arched with collagen
and passion
has carried the weight
of mothers
has carried the weight
of daughters
has lifted you higher
than I was taught
to dream
your toes dug deeply
into my ribs
as you pulled yourself up
on my shoulders
and the shoulders
of my sisters
history might forget us
but the bridges
of our backs
will remain

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Memento Mori by Devon Balwit

Dimitry Vorsin.jpg

[Poem by Devon Balwit, Art by Dimitry Vorsin]

Memento Mori

Pain’s bastinado blanches,
makes a death’s head
of me, a grimace set
teetering on cervical spine.
In answer to students’
questions, I swivel like
a submarine spyglass
peering out at youth
from disphotic dusk.
Today’s theme
is courtship, flings,
flirting, friends with
benefits. To them
such talk from the
rictus of my mouth
must be as if a crone
pushed aside monitor
cables and IV tubes
to lifted her gown,
on a scrollwork
of varicose, crepe,
and snowy pubes.
As they talk amongst
themselves, I massage
my scapula, tilt my
jaw, trying to dislodge
by fractions the grip
of the grave. I do it, gloss
reciprocal, be attracted
to, crush, be my type,
waiting for one among
them to say “Teacher,
I am attracted to brainy,
once-beautiful women,
now in a state of
physical decline, but
with such lascivious
vocabulary. You are
my type, my unrequited
crush.” One does not.
I exhale, swivel this way
and that, watching,
discretely, the clock.

Memento Mori by Devon Balwit

Dimitry Vorsin.jpg

[Poem by Devon Balwit, Art by Dimitry Vorsin]

Memento Mori

Pain’s bastinado blanches,
makes a death’s head
of me, a grimace set
teetering on cervical spine.
In answer to students’
questions, I swivel like
a submarine spyglass
peering out at youth
from disphotic dusk.
Today’s theme
is courtship, flings,
flirting, friends with
benefits. To them
such talk from the
rictus of my mouth
must be as if a crone
pushed aside monitor
cables and IV tubes
to lifted her gown,
on a scrollwork
of varicose, crepe,
and snowy pubes.
As they talk amongst
themselves, I massage
my scapula, tilt my
jaw, trying to dislodge
by fractions the grip
of the grave. I do it, gloss
reciprocal, be attracted
to, crush, be my type,
waiting for one among
them to say “Teacher,
I am attracted to brainy,
once-beautiful women,
now in a state of
physical decline, but
with such lascivious
vocabulary. You are
my type, my unrequited
crush.” One does not.
I exhale, swivel this way
and that, watching,
discretely, the clock.