Poem of the Week: June 28th, 2015

Barbara Duffey’s poetry chapbooks, The Circus of Forgetting (dancing girl press) and The Verge of Thirst (South Dakota State Poetry Society) were published in 2013. She has a full-length collection forthcoming from Word Poetry in 2015. Her work also appears in Volume 3, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By Barbara Duffey

So when tomorrow folds
in on itself like an ache
I’ll visit your voice in the
nest of my want, your shelter.
Baby – please need me shorn
and scalded, needled. I shut myself
down to let science take over your
outset, my makeshift tiny specimen.


Poem of the Week: June 21st, 2015

Darla Himeles’s poems and translations appear in recent or forthcoming issues of Off the Coast, 5 AM, Weave Magazine, OVS, and Cerise Press. “A Taste” appears in Volume 2, Issue 2 of burntdistrict.

By Darla Himeles

When your heart quits
I’ll be barreling down some back road,
embraced by a blur

of ordinary splendor – Highland cattle, heaving
fields of grasses and goldenrod,
mailboxes sturdy on wood posts,

some empty. Consider what visions grip
then. Maybe the road becomes living
room carpet, my arms folded loose

round your shoulders. Maybe my body
lifts like lace from the car window,
clutched in the small talons of cardinals,

light and air right through me.
Maybe they set me in a sunburst park
picnic, everything gold. Your irises glint

amber, and pinot gris numbs our lips
beside their ambulance-red wings.
I’ve heard when death dismantles dreams,

they become flecks of stories airborne
on discarded orange peels
or pollen. They itch the tongue

when we breathe.

Poem of the Week: June 7th, 2015

Ira Sukrungruang is the author of Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including The Sun, Creative Nonfiction, Crab Orchard Review, and North American Review. More of his work can be found in Volume 2, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By Ira Sukrungruang

In the summer, heat is a tight
embrace that suffocates. It enters
through the pores of the feet, a blaze
despite afternoon rain and flood
that whisks away gators and carries
moccasins into the hollows of cypresses.

                                Love, forgive me.
I still yearn. I scratch lines into the hickory’s
bark, the days you have scorched my heart.
I smell your musk, feel your invisible fingers
across my back and neck and thighs, like a devouring vine.
This is loneliness, I’m sure.

                                Love, a hurricane is inevitable.
It’s east of us, ravaging some tropical island. It has your name.
I’m willing it towards me, arms open.

Poem of the Week: June 2nd, 2015

Marie Gauthier’s new poems can be read or are forthcoming in The Common, Cave Wall, Poetry Northwest, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Where You Split, You Bloom,” first appeared in Volume 1, Issue 2 of burntdistrict.

after Lia Purpura
By Marie Gauthier

Your stone’s a new milk tooth
among the weathered markers – how
to make of your loss something less
never, less always, less torn
sutures and sawtooth incisions?

Your appointments meant CBCs
and IV lines, the blue stars of radiation.
Mine are heartbeats. Sonograms.
The contrapuntal pulses of the living.

The phlebotomist’s smooth ruby draw
pains me beyond galaxies: the memory
of your cigarette paper skin
and elusive veins, how your face charred
to ash with each needle’s dig.

I press gauze to the red pearl
and sob. The bell
of my belly strains and shakes
with each strike of the ringer inside.