"Sharp", "Shallow Six", and "Age 10: Sorting the Dead"
Brock Marie Moore
the fishing lures have lured
his daughter again.
she floats down the aisles, trailing
small hands in the bins of rubber worms,
her head a damp wisp of dandelion
caught in an unfelt breeze.
these false nightcrawlers, their soft
clear bodies alive with iridescence,
have a hedonistic texture
that draws small fingers: the squish,
the stretch, the wriggle and writhe.
"electric grape" - she reads the name
of a violet worm gorged with glitter,
then twirls away, caught in the mirrored shine
of prismatic spoons with seed-bead eyes,
flies in hot pink hula skirts,
feathers achingly soft.
he has warned her of the hooks;
still she wanders the aquarium of painted plastic
fish motionless in their blister packs,
treble barbs dangling beneath peach bellies,
a feast of stripes and dots
on forms that rattle, click, and croak.
her father cannot pull her back.
may her fingers be careful, clever,
xanax drowns the witch
reverses her sleep spell, to unbind my real self
pushing the dark face back beneath
the lip of my heart's stone well
rage submerged, soothed
wetted in tepid waters
waveless and gray
(i plead they remain still and gray)
yet the cantrip of the small white pills
cannot hold her floating face, her teeth;
she will return
like a vengeful drowned spirit
dripping lake muck and rotten, ever
bent on my destruction
this witch twinned and humped backward
inside my body - angrier now,
chanting loud, her grip between my bones
my own jenny green teeth
the rusalka of my murdered soul
"age 10, sorting the dead"
i slip a thin arm through the cage door
on ill-clipped teeth of wire
my hand dipping like a dove in the mouth of the kindling box
expecting either the empty bowl of nest
lined with wood peelings
gifted tufts of belly fur
or the hot crepe-skin of newborns
my fingers tenderly tap, stroke each unseen form
gauging heat and small struggles
reluctantly seeking a lone cold body
already going stiff at the nest's edge
such are gently withdrawn
in the weeds outside
mother rabbit's eyes watch me
globes of wet fear glazed
she turns to her bribe, green carrot-tops
and sweet grass
Brock Marie Moore lives in South Texas with her dog, Chester. When not writing, she is working to finish her Master's degree in library science, visiting various doctors concerning her BPD, anxiety spectrum disorder and TMJD, or getting distracted with sci-fi video games. Please visit her at http://brockmarie.net.