Rhiannon (Raquel) Thorne was born in Santa Rosa, CA. Raquel currently co-edits the literary publication cahoodaloodaling.
Maggie's Spring Dress
your body is pushing up
bright flares for the dead,
while you are adorned in direct sun she
and sea anemone grass--
quite the fine dress,
my eternal young lady.
To My Candidates, the Morning After
Lightening in the morning, I have
an icepick for each eye, four lips (if you are counting)
two serrated thighs;
there is ocean on the floors, a bed
disheveled, atom bomb remnants in the sheets,
me, like semen, my breath smeared
along the ceiling
with a drip.
Don't walk away.
Take a train or a greyhound or hitchhike
with Bob Dylan and purple skies,
stop in a tavern or a truck stop and drop
acid in a restroom,
then rest yourself
against a breast, or two, (or more).
This morning I am the news, cheap paper,
cheaper ink, take me over coffee,
I have howlers in the basement and roaches on my sleeves,
the kind of love you see on television,
the bite of fleas and pestilence, hands like lobsters,
I go about pitching rocks and trees,
duck, Darling, duck or dive or drown,
and when I call later don't you answer your phone,
rerecord your voicemail, say nobody's home,
say your name is Paul or Patrick or Potter,
a name I can't write poems about
Street signs on my fingers, they are
pointed at all exits,
there is a doorbreak in the hallway, it's lock
is hanging, jiggle it, wiggle it, set yourself
let it bang and beat down against itself,
yell out your emancipation
or better yet, quit all words of me.
Her hair was a pearl, or a mother,
a rope around her neck when she slept at night,
and the wind sang, hush little girl, hush
don't you die
the cannon sun will light up the sky.
She wrote on the walls little messages to herself;
saucers are not eyes, not eyes like the backs
of butterflies or the cameras in the ceilings; my fingers
are not criminals
nor way-side slums, they are little stacked card castles
waiting for a queen of drugs. And dotted all her I's,
and kept her thighs crossed
at the ankles.
She laid there, breasts open to the ceiling
back along the stuffy couch like a lover
and recited her short-comings. Small tits,
nipples too tight like a boy; moles spattered across my back
like spit or watermelon seeds or beads of semen; She thumbed
her arm, pulled out the hair, belting he loves me,
he loves me not, he loves me, Daddy does and then there were
the men's names
scribbled on lottery cards and grocery lists
and the back of my hand, an itch, a claw,
the vice of a lonely girl-
but the face of her mother
she drew on the sofa's arm
like a doll.
The TV came onto Lucy and for a moment the room felt love
but she said my name is Susie, I am twenty-three,
my heart is ambidextrous, I mean to say,
I love you as much when you're coming
as when you're leaving and there was a drowning
or at least a split-second sputtering. The world clicked on
in black and white. She opened the window,
the air was a lullaby. In the church
there were wedding bells.
Decades pass. The world is pulled on a spindle. Around,
around, the continents are lit with war and ample hand grenades
the soldiers fondle like a starlet's chest.
Men hang onto their hands, the girl hangs onto a man
chiding lullabies and strung from a birth
of a daughter named London who learns to cook
and watch the news
for missives from God. There is a martini for this,
so Mommy can fall down.
Her daughter writes in her memoirs later
about her mother's docile eyes:
her body was empty except for the beating standard
of a hemoglobin march; she was just like that
after she learned to leave:
I was told once
she had known how to love.
I like to think she loved me a little,