Angels and Dogs Poetry Project Series (Part 4)

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This post is the final one in the series that showcases the best of the work submitted to the Angels and Dogs Poetry Project . Eds. Alan Parry and Matthew MC Smith

All The Time – Karen Ankers

No-one ever told me how quiet it would be to watch you
die: I was primed for loss, for emptiness, for the empty
ache of afterwards, but not for peace. You told me
once how your father slapped you for not
paying attention – you would have told me
off for noticing the droop of dry roses when all the time
I should have watched the ebb and flow of your throat, but still
I caught the quiet moment when your breathing stopped. Your silence
held me tighter than all the barbed reminders ever did.

Vacuum – Oormila Vijayakrishnan (Trigger warning: miscarriage)

The bulbs in the white room dwindle in their 
holders. We watch the distant swatches of red 

and blue swirl in the soundless night, the stream 
of cars glitching through vacuoles of glass. When

you hold my hand, my veins throb, ballooned blue 
by the spears of metal catheters. I am a splintered

chalice. What you cradle are the shards of a woman 
whose hopes were cocooned in her vacuumed womb.

Section – Ankh Spice

The new medicine is a curved needle. Admission’s easy
for this ride: sharp slip of steel gate, mad mouth continuous-
stitched over tight. A measure of nest here awhile and the ward’s walls
press in wooled. Pantone: palliative blue, abandoned egg. Months fall
from the jaw of the year. Rattled world, now loose now distant, rot
so softly takes our nerve. When time forgets every rooted path
to probe, we’ll meet at the coast. Far from here —hollow ground— edges
sunstruck to focus. So many swallows; small thrown blades.  A lot to unpick.

the night – Jacob Riyeff

broadsides stapled to telephone poles 
and electricity of stars in cities: 
tonight i do not care for sleep 

tonight you don’t want me, and you  
school me in restraint, so i will write 
this poem and dream of pinochle and port 

the heat in my forehead enough  
to raze this block and exult in that starlight 
the one who made me has come tonight, 
to lay in my tabernacle—we have dined

Never Ending Cycles – Mercedes Webb Pullman

the shrub in the pot by my back door
flowers bunches of white stars
that glow like ghosts through the dusk

you were still alive when I poked a sprig
into the pot – a scrappy plant
apart from this constellation in autumn

dry leaves drop from sticky flower heads
sweated scent pungent as 4711 on Mothers Day
I grow flowers in your memory
heads of cannabis and chrysanthemums

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