2 Poems | Maggie Blake Bailey


A dead lizard floats in the pool while
a man climbs a palm tree, chainsaw
dangling from his waist.

A crane rises from a tidal bed,
not white but brown,
thick with the muck of coastal waters

The intact bodies of crabs offer up
white porcelain legs, dead and
splayed open like hand.

I read the landscape as tea leaves
because my daughter is too young
to speak and my foreign body

offers no augury.



I eat in quarters, pacing,
even so my bowl fills
with the parceled red
of a thousand seeds.
In my mouth, a rich
dismantling, but still

I hunger. To quiet the pull,
I imagine pushing my arm
into the frying pan, taking
a thick knife to the joints
of me, rendering the fat
of myself transparent,
poured into a coffee can,
left to rot by the kitchen sink.

Such a long winter now,
my cold hands
stained with feasting.

Maggie Blake Bailey has poems published or forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V: Georgia, Tar River, Slipstream, and elsewhere. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and her chapbook, Bury the Lede, is available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. For more work, please visit maggieblakebailey.com 


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