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3 poems

by Elisabeth Horan

Heavy Woman Drown

You've been in the dolorous 

morning since birth, well eight, 

well it was college, fine, 30. 


Morning bells clang,

the horse colicked;

some fine steed he was.


And look at you woman, marching 

harmless to the mountain, 


who says, mother may I, who 

asked daddy permission:

for whom does the church bell chime,

knowing children will-to-suffer.


I see in purples. 

Shimmering, breathing pavement. 

It's the meds or anxiety. 


You shimmering: a salt lake

shallow brackish salinated 


Weightless water 


so heavy-armed, caked with white granules


caked upon your face for lack 

of softer caviar, this is fish 


eggs in the grave, my belly cut 

sturgeon-style to eat 


with crisps, champagne;

it's Russian tea-time.


Rocks succumb to 

my pockets, 





Robin's Egg Blue

Soft bird loves her night light,

gowns her body and walks the last cerulean mile,

flies in her mind,

stumbles on a miserly broken wing.


Along like ramparts, Hitler’s fizzling last stand. 

What a bunker. What a Braun. 


What a petty woman’s war. Or stronghold.


Had she had a birdie to release, did 

she wish for a pop-out screen or a 

Female Parliament to impeach, did 

she know what I know, that 


Her daddy was her lover.

Did she know of the fetus which doth 

smother a new mother?


Daughter turns, burns. 


Small broken bird falls to asphalt out jail window,

so softly, as the morning eats children.

Scrubbing Dishes

Haha child. 

This is all you’ve got?


My nights are filled with sunken ships,

filled with fetuses born of this witch,

little spines, crooked, broken


fingers, toes, only count to seven, and curled

hideous, veins outside of transparent skin


a heart beats black, the lungs puff

sooted. My daddy takes me from behind


sings Edelweiss and Baby Mine, lines

a gun up between my eyes, Doktor Mengele


fingers the trigger. 

But I don’t die. Not even close.


Rather, I sing to showers full of ghosts.


Women with rashes and pubic lice, men

swinging low, ashamed, pissing raw sacred-


ness. Trains of cows, full of meat to market,

whoosh by in a clickity-clack, the waving faces

of Weisel & Niemöller & Milosz


Inside, Carcasses. Dear

God, racks over racks of 

Children…my mind inside out


Ted ted Ted ted. Dead. 

Gone. Ripped front to back, dick 


to head. Me. Blue nighty. 

Rooftop flier. 


God says,

go for it Sylvia, go ahead and be 

a martyr. 

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