TWO POEMS by MADELINE HANLEY
Madeline is busy minding her own business trying to study for her doctorate
Just kidding, she is actually sitting in muffin crumbs, while wearing the new skirt she bought as part of her new plan to become an international sex symbol. Other steps of the plan include 1) develop a seductive accent 2) always carry around a melting pistachio ice cream cone and occasionally flick the top of it with her tongue 3) walk so that her hips gently rock back and forth in a pleasing manner 4) be cast in a small independent film where she happens to star along with a hologram of a young Harrison Ford 5) buy more skirts.
With and Without:
a poem in six parts
A friend explains: your body will tell you.
You look in the mirror and suddenly know you are not alone.
But I get the feeling all the time, in the bath, in the frozen food aisle,
while waiting for the traffic light to turn green,
when I wake up and can’t find the lamp cord, sometimes I find the feeling.
Baby, this guy is not your real father and I am not your real mother,
you are more of a ghost than a real baby and I hope you know that.
My baby, resting under my lungs, in my left hip, in the rivets of my palms.
The raging stream
in a fever
I follow my own whim,
Why are you standing so far away?
Push a stroller around the neighborhood and try not to knock your baby into a pothole. Play hopscotch and water balloon toss. Watch the DVD box set of Gilligan’s Island and get really into craft beer. Sink your hooks into the wrists of the people you love. But also try to learn from them.
I won’t even be mad if you go back and ask for the bartender’s number
He says this with his eyes closed so I don’t believe him.
If you are paralyzed you may be able to blink messages in code.
One blink might mean: I’m still in here.
Two blinks might mean: This gets boring. Please turn on the television.
Take note of the root of the system.
Eyelids, eyelashes, up and down, and
you get to catch the last half of the The Natural.
Robert Redford plays catch with the son
he never knew he had.
He hits a pitch into the overhead lights, winning the pennant.
I blink three times, which means: Stay with me.
White, White Day
I lived there once, before there were such things
as weariness and wounds.
A stall on the corner sold fresh blueberries.
I reached for them and
my palms filled with fresh snow.
Madeline Hanley is from Syracuse, NY. She currently lives in Wilmington, NC, where she is a 2nd year creative nonfiction candidate at UNCW. She wishes she wrote more poems.