Red Crinoline

A poem by Lana Bella


an early winter cracks through

this late autumn

with a new leaf of dew,

I watch the woodpeckers pecking

my miniature bonsai queue

with long, chisel-shaped beaks—

all at once,

shivering and pendulous,

a liquid dream of red crinoline spills

from my heart to hands,

its face floats before me then,

quite naked in the way that seems

inexplicably insolent,

stumbling back,

I pour myself out of the gray

floating looking glass,

still, a subconscious summons forward

the coarse, laconic veils of childhood’s fear—

inelegant fringe over my eyes is my own hand,

red threads coast down

the hip bones

where the underside of the dark cloth

effuses a spice of clover

and sears hemoglobin,

even so, I imagine my flesh

leavening above its entropic wingspan,

then drawing deeper

into the history where my body

remembers what to do

A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella has work of poetry and fiction published and forthcoming with over 130 journals, including a chapbook with Crisis Chronicles Press (Spring 2016), Ann Arbor Review, Chiron Review, Coe Review, Harbinger Asylum, Literary Orphans, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Quarterly, QLRS (Singapore), Sein Und Werden (UK), White Rabbit (Chile) and elsewhere, among others. She divides her time between the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a wife of a talking-wonder novelist, and a mom of two far-too-clever, frolicsome imps.

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