Literary Orphans

Three Poems
by Panika M. C. Dillon

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prone to strike (the ones I love most)

I took a garbage bag & a roll of foil, fashioned

capacitor. but the lawn mower’s battery was

what it was—was dead. I said now how am I going

 

to start over. shift the gears in my chest, alter

ethos—my movements or injured adjuncts, aluminum.

my car is sick. my breath—broken. the clock crawls—

 

tock tock tick. tardy to a race across

time’s AAA. take the anode & stick it

to your tongue. if you taste copper, whistle

 

into the wings of a frozen lake; face the charge

of Van Allen Belts; with icicled lashes, note

the tarnish of my fingers: aurora, an ending wind.

 

if there are clouds, watch for sink

holes, search for signs of static.

O Typekey Divider

                      (noise)

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . wash my back / the bite marks won’t

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . come out / & I won’t give up

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . your teeth / for anything

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  less than / moonlight

 

in spite / of the spitting stove

. . . blisters bloom / on my fingers

O Typekey Divider

is that your distress flare or is it the season for bursting air

for Shannon Leigh

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it’s the parade that holds everyone up

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for pocket lint / been seeing you

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . everywhere we say / how the clouds are

 

falling in the shape of your animal

face / your mouth opens, the rain of it

dapples our vision / & I am

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convinced of wax & (your coffin lined

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . with) silk / we, we want you

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to have pristine shins—to never be

 

scraped (as your knees), & to say we caught

you every time sits on the tongue like gum

drops / using your name

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in vain, our saccharine calls: angel,

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . goddess / you, you—something so, so

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . human, we need to turn you

 

myth / as if there were room

for lyres or pedestals on your back / & it’s in

parade that I see you—

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . outside the cut & paste

O Typekey Divider

Panika M. C. Dillon is from Fairbanks, AK and Austin, TX. She received her MFA in creative-writing poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Heavy Feather Review, Poets&Artists, Copper Nickel, The Diagram and others. She works as a political organizer in Central Texas.

Panika M. C. Dillon 1 (427x640)

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Marina Ćorić