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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