OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 8
We stitch the continent out of road signs:
BOSTON ALBANY SALEM
new New England in the mouths of wanderers,
pointing west and naming it east.
More strangers now than when we first met,
he looks at me and sees something weak
in himself, something given up on.
The white cat and the black cat drugged
in the backseat. The brown cat caged
and yowling, underdosed, unfed.
MEDICAL LAKE ANACONDA
We speak only in jokes so old
all they say is “I remember you, younger.”
My face a patchwork reflection
of signs saying REST
We keep going.
Five Years of Elegies
and still no God.
Tear this tongue out
and stitch it to someone else.
How to do things
with words: don’t.
They make nothing happen
and then they keep making nothing.
The more dead people I know,
the happier I am when I’m sick.
How unlucky it is to be a body,
what genius they had,
to escape pain!
I applaud them, those ghosts
who look back at our poems
and, counting their blessings,
turn swiftly away.
Laura Passin is a writer, scholar, and feminist at large. She earned her PhD in English Literature at Northwestern and her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. Her writing has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Prairie Schooner, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Toast, Rolling Stone, Electric Literature, and Best New Poets, and her chapbook All Sex and No Story was selected by Tiana Clark as the winner of the 2018 Girls Like Us chapbook contest (Rabbit Catastrophe Press). Laura lives in Denver with too many pets.