My name is Chelsea. 22, collegiate life. My weaknesses include craft beers, bearded men, and the Oxford comma.
Optimistic

I am

Approaching

Like the Sun rising up over the mountain line

An inhale.

I’m telling you to not be afraid

Of the footsteps growing nearer and

The rumbles rolling louder

Because I am not foreboding

But spiritual.

I’m moving the earth.

Glacial.


Slight

Everything about her was

Slight.

Her face was slender

From narrow nose chiseled in icy marble

To sapphire eyes that never looked ahead

But     s h i f t e d

From side

          to     side

A pair of glass pendulums.

Thin, crystallized hair

Gauze blonde

A veil with a sunned shadow

Nearly as clear as fingernails dancing

On salty winds and final breaths.

She walked on the tops of her toes

Wordlessly.

She was slight- mysterious

A magic trick.


Poolside: A Prose Poem

She watched, with loose gravel from the cement pool deck holding themselves against the naked souls of her two left feet, as the helpless wasp kicked its feeler legs against the surface of the water. It fought with all its might, yet could even make so much as a single drop of a splash.

She expected to stand there and watch it until it stopped making its own movements. The legs would stop kicking and the body would stop writhing and the wings would stop beating little ringlets on the clear blue, like heavy footsteps make in a glass half empty. She waited to watch it die.

And then it did an unexpected thing. The wasp forced enough of its filmy wings free to lift itself from its stormy ocean, and flew away.


Treetops

I live for the time of year that

The trees are so full

It looks as if you could step on their leafy terrace

And walk among the stars.


Melanism

I want to wade into the blackest night.

The cool distance breaking against me like

The slow-rolling tide of the Lake.

Stars surf- waterbugs flickering on the meniscus.

I want to swim in the midnight

Blues of depths met by my treading toes

New moon’s sky and the river road

Blending into the same hue

Until I lose touch with which way is up.

I want to catch pneumonia from the hooting of the owls

And drown in coyote howls.

I want to float

And absorb the darkness.

Or maybe I want to it

To absorb me.


Signify

There are the ambiguous first strokes of a tattoo

Peeking out from under the edge of your short-sleeve.

I think about what might be important enough to you

To etch forever in the inches of your skin.

Like dripping, black music notes or pocketed stars or screeching eagles

A name or a face or a pair of surgically separated wings

Something without, signifying something within

A shallow image

Found in unmoving color on the skin,

To reveal what’s breathing in your blood.

Like once-wounds, healed over

You disappear

Before I have the chance

To discover

What it is.


At Wit’s End

We are adversaries at best

Kicking around old arguments like they will somehow ever end.

We are tired travelers pacing in front of the kitsch motel

Flashing “no vacancy.”

We never check in anywhere else.

There is something comfortable, predictable

About running ourselves in circles.

No matter how dizzy I am

I always know where my next step will fall.

Now I can’t stand the stillness.

When I can’t see the vibrating rings in the water

And ahead appears much too static

I pick

At my coiling skin

At my manish nails

At my peeling, freckling neck

At you

Until the horizon rumbles and tumbles again

And I can get lost in it.

Frenetic.

Eyes watering from the blinding signs.


Jungle

I forgot to tell you that I live in a jungle

Where the writhing roots hold the earth under our feet

And branches grow together like the eyelashes of frightened men

Shielding themselves in deistic darkness.

Howling hawks and blistering beetles debate over the calls of corroded cardinals

Contrasting the trees’ greens.

And just beyond the wilds

You can hear the roving cars

Angry in the summer heat.


Sleeve

It’s nearly the lazy morning

And I find a new way home

Against the mountain wind.

My skin begs for better cover.

The lock welcomes the key

And whispers “when did you

Become such a night owl?”

The oak bedroom furniture

Feels awkward and alone.

(The dresser gets worried

When the bed is left empty.)

My dress falls to the floor

And finally breathes again.

I slide into dawn in cotton

My arms are climbing roots

Tunneling till my hands bloom.

I welcome the sight of stitches

Instead of arms of porcelain bones.

Northeast, the window meets

The shy profile of daylight’s smile

Coy. Like the day I met you.

I have something you haven’t seen

Hidden. Tucked up my sleeve.


Planning

Three friends are standing in a room with no windows.

They would sit, but there are no chairs.

“We need a plan of action,” Reason (the tallest of the three) suggests.

“Or else we waste emotion on just feeling,” Adventure (with a wild grass voice) concurs.

“We do our best work with a broken heart,” Memory (unforgettable and meticulous) remembers.

Adventure pounds the wrinkled wall. “We have to get back on the bike.”

Memory reminds, “we never learned to ride a bike.”

“Because they’re terrifying!” Reason reasons, “physicists can’t figure out why people can ride them, you know.”

Adventure sighs “I wanna know what it feels like.”

There’s no clock to tick, but every second or so

There’s an echoey thump sounding

From somewhere floors below.

“Maybe it’s best we don’t do anything,” Reason reconsiders. “No decision

Prevents bad decisions.”

“Bad decisions, bad decisions,” Memory repeats itself, “like the rebound moment with the postcore drummer who cared about postcore?”

“-or the statistician stuffed in the sweater vest-”

“-or the lip ringed barista at the Starbucks on Lattimore,” Adventure smirks like a warm inhale. “Whatever happened to him?”

“He took a backseat to the Daniel Radcliffe lookalike from American Politics. Understandably,” states Reason.

“There’s a Rupert Grint doppelganger at work,” Memory muses, “only less ginger-like.”

“Less ginger-like?” Adventure poses.

“His hair is more an auburn or mahogany than a REAL red.”

“What do we think?” Reason asks. “Knock out two-thirds of the Golden Trio?”

“And end up here again?”

They all squirm. Mahogany-haired Rupert Grint feels like a ghost floating in the round ceiling.

They all question.

“Maybe we should stop living in the past,” says Memory.

“Maybe we should act on impulse,” says Reason.

“Maybe we should stand still,” says Adventure.

“Shut up and go to sleep,” says the room.