Three Poems

For Hannah

Dark and tasting
of bitter and dirt

it thrives in the heart’s cellar
which looks like it

ruddy, submerged,
inedible unless

cooked or shredded
if eaten raw.

Its pink turns her hands
into slowbloom,

my mouth its rootdark
twin, its rhyme.

She says we’ll dye everything—
hair, shirt, ocean,

tooth, elbow, husk—
red as womb that underheart.

She says she’ll cut my hair
the way women do

when they’re flush with flood.

hoarder of vitamins,
its leafcrown a dress

Hannah tosses aside—
she feeds me strand

by nourishing strand
sap paints my neck

all tongue its wake
wet as blood, rootsweet.

Lavender globe, oversized lollipop, bobble-
headed dancer, I desire your frowzy shazam.
So glam, even after death. Bleached and fragile.
I kept your desiccate heads in a vase for years,
transposing meadow into hipster décor.

All you require is dirt, rocks, sugaring of sunshine.
I’d like to find a phalanx of you and lie below,
mooning over a purple planet sky. Discard modern life:
groceries, desks, screens—their companionate plumping.
Hitch to the caterpillar’s scam and cocoon to you,
stalk-latched, dreaming wings. Proboscis to sip you clean.

For Stephanie Bernhard

Night hangs its dark laundry
from the spruce and magnolias’

white knobs bob in thin wind.
A child, far off, shouts once.

Bike wheels on gravel. Click
of kickstands. Muffled cough.

And now, fireflies, their lust
a most efficient luminescence,

syncing and unlinking,
like revelers at a party’s end.

Fewer though. No migration
for these beetles, every pavement

a disaster. I could add: fewer
toads pouncing from the lawn

mower’s skirr. Fewer bird songs—
all sparrow now, all starling.

Far off a car door slams.
A man’s voice, then a woman’s.

Laughter. Chirp of locking doors.
A cat slinks through grass,

its teeth augury. Its body stand-in
for every engine of extinction.

Japanese beetles fret birch leaves.
Dropped keys sing on concrete.

The fireflies spark and spark—
oh haunted dark, fever of fewer.

This unbearable getting used to.

Amie Whittemore

Amie Whittemore is a poet, educator, and the author of Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press). She is also co-founder of the Charlottesville Reading Series in Virginia. Her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Sycamore Review, Smartish Pace, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere.

Arthur Asa

Arthur Asa was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He studied graphic design and industrial design but decided to leave everything behind and become a construction worker. During this time he discovered all he ever wanted to do was draw and tell stories. He is now an illustrator by afternoon and a comic artist by night—sometimes both by night. He has a comic called Where the Heart Is that you can find online.

First Featured In: No. 6, winter 2016

The Adventure Issue

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