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Five Poems
by Sarah Morgan

My First Babysitting Job

It was his fifth foster home.
His hair matted to his cheeks like a Spanish Harlem heat wave.
For five dollars an hour
I'd let him lose himself in the back woods
soaked in velvet hues
to understand what it was to be chased.

He would rub my back
trying to sneak his fingertips to my budding breasts.
Sometimes I'd let him cop a feel...
so long as he was feeling.
September.
Airplanes flared terror into New York.
Together.
We watched the ash laminate the altar
like a corpse bride
kneeling in the center of her final trade.
His new daddy never came home that day.
He upturned his toy chess
and threw himself amongst the jacks.
Ear to the carpet
sobbing for the mites
to eat him away.
He bit me so hard as I held him.
Strange limbs unable to let go.
My dear, voodoo doll
they cannot keep the pins
from your reach forever.



Track Seven

On a train to anywhere but here
Here is where the heart lives for most
My heart is always calling from a phone booth
In the rain
A black umbrella opens unto my chest.

How fast it trickles by
I'm trying to understand why
and where
and what would break first if I jumped
Most likely my phone booth

Mountains of graffiti, rocks, and hunchback fences
A three-wheeler
Yellow and red and forgotten
Among the rubble

There is a man behind me
A southern black gent
Talking to someone he loves
He's started humming something now
Gentle and of Georgia I'm sure

I want him to choke. I do.

There is a foreigner to my left
I don't think he can read this
If I knew any of that lover language -polly vu franfuck
I'd write. are you reading this?
He smells like an expired fire pit of dehydrated embers.
Like one or all
of my ex-flames.

I want his euro-techno headphones to explode into him. I do.

Diagonally; a stupidly beautiful young girl.
Slender tall boots that I would use to ride horses against gravity.

I want her to get pregnant, lost, fat.
Yellow then red then forgotten. I do.

And then me.
Among the mountains of pebble and gang names
with a shirt reading "can i hold you?"
Tears smuggling the luster from my cheeks
Turpentine to mahogany.
I only weep in profoundly public places
Where no one dare ask

If they did
I'd swallow hard
Like an 8th grade blow job
Like your first funeral
I'd swallow hard and tell them to piss off
Or
Something pleasant
So long as I could blow my snots
Into their palm pilots
get them to really fly off the handle!

You see
There is a tiny retired maestro
Inside my skin
The grand orchestra plays on
With no regard for him.

He's squatting on track 6
With the other empty notes
Using playbills as toilet tissue

My poor minor chord friend.
I've taken track 7 again.

When I get to where I'm going
I'm sure I'll pull out a quarter or two
from a phone booth in Seattle
Looking for an answer
Finding only an abandoned G-clef

Dress in layers on trains
I showed up in New Haven
With no pulse in my voice
loose change
Stark naked.



The Price of Feeling

Stellar skin-tight shit
can make you do crazy things.
Do not ask me why,
but I was walking ten blocks
with my sister
to steal a red leotard.
No fabrication.
She told me red was my color.
If it is my color, then I am sure as hell taking it.
By block seven
we both had to urinate like mad semen
waiting in line at the urethra.
Genetically we were endowed with dime-sized bladders
So block seven. oh yeah.
She spoke quick through her stewing Shirley Temple.
"Does your vagina ever get numb?"
"What? No!" I replied.
"Oh, because my left lip is entirely paralyzed."
"Your labia?"
Snorts of stifled laughter escaped
through our clenched diaphragms.
We needed kegels, a lamaze class, and a porta-john,
all knitted into one.
She continued. " So you see, I could piss myself and wouldn't feel a thing."
I suggested, "Try and pee to see if your right lip knows."
"No, the right one's gone too!"
We barged into the leotard market.
I swindled the red and headed to the fitting room.
As I bent over to try this thing on
a wretched late-date fart announced itself.
I laughed so hard I peed myself.
I bought the leotard.
Ten more blocks of chaffing yellow.
On the side of the road
was a fire pit made of wheelchairs
numbness bashed against flint
handicaps burning their catheters and bed pans.

They'd give anything for my sore jaundiced thighs.



The Teller and the Oracle

The flood alarm sounded
as I walked out in the rain.
I was off to the bank to cash my last paycheck.
I held a white suitcase in one hand.
I held a plastic bag in the other.
It's contents: a pregnancy test, chewing gum, and a Mother's Day card.
After many uphill blocks against the downpours,
I drudged into the bank.
"Just a deposit?" the teller inquired.
"Yes, thank you."
As the teller began fidgeting behind the thick glass
I turned to my right to find a little girl
sitting on the floor beside the heater.
Her parents were nowhere to be found.
She had this patterned hat that swept all the hair from her face.
She wore a knitted sweater that moved like a kaleidoscope when she shifted her weight,
an oversized skirt that lapped at her kneecaps,
woolen stockings,
purple rubber boots.
She fascinated me.
This child held herself like an oracle,
poised and all knowing.
The teller unclogged her throat, "Anything else today?"
I replied "No" and began to exit.
As I went to pass the girl, she spoke softly to me.
"You are amazing."
I wanted to ask her to repeat herself, though her words were
unmistakable.
I stopped in my tracks, frozen with wonder.
I think I smiled, but I am not sure.
I walked back into the rain
trying to reason.
Were her parents scholars?
Could she read my lowered brow and heavy steps more than the rest of the world?
Was she my unborn daughter,
willing to forgive me?



Women for Dummies

Ladies, Lasses, Gals, Girls.
Listen up.
I've come bearing the pamphlet.
When your pipes started to seep blood
they gave you cotton and cardboard
but no further instructions.

Woman
You are a fine art.
Coke Bottle, Cello, Lamp Shade.
You are a voluptuous easel
to hold the head of inspiration above watercolor.
Your heart is a mosaic window
that cannot entirely close.
even when it rains.
Even when it pours.

You are not fat.
The timid folds of your midriff
are to tuck away timeless ballads.
The one that unravels you
will discover the immense
symphony of your skin
slinking back and forth
catching the light in your eyes
just right
and squinting gently like a choir
that makes archangels ejaculate peace.
So eat.
Eat when you're hungry.
Fart in public and worry not about the blame.
You are a mammoth wooly blanket when scorched,
puddles when trampled,
yeast when uplifted,
brawn when bemoaned.
You are your mothers mothers precious gestures.
You are a boomerang in the blood line
bringing full circle
the dairy of antique chests.
You are the common denominator to a timeline
of triumph.
Women
we are like fishing line
waltzing with mystery
at the bottom of a well.
Toss a penny in,
and keep wishing fellows.
We are gothic whipping classical.
We are suede pumps that blister our stability.
We understand too well
and not at all,
what it is to be "sexy."
We meet a short someone to love
and throw our heels away.
We feel beautiful.
We are not impossible.
So ladies, lasses, gals, girls: all likes,
ravage disaster as if it were a miracle
wrapped in a trash can.
Explode like a neutron in the atomic hour.
Straddle the all night mechanical bull.
Clench your cautious thighs
against the wild bucking
hold tightly
and let go.



About the author:
Sarah Morgan has been writing poetry since the curious age of seven; winning her first Scholastic Arts & Writing Award in the third grade. By her junior year of high school she decided to drop out to pursue her career as a mentally unstable heroin addict. Now clean, but still crazy, you'll find the sweetest spots of her writing touch upon loss, sex, god, and trying to find herself through it all. Her confessional style of writing crossbreeds nectar with poison. She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA performing her poetry at various venues and wooing bearded men. She will be publishing her first book of poetry with Write Bloody, founded by poet Derrick Brown. Write Bloody has published the likes of Amber Tamblyn, Buddy Wakefield, and Anis Mojani. Sarah loves you.



© 2013 Word Riot

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Midnight Picnic
a novel by
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