Homesick – Samantha Lucero

a recent piece of mine over at FVR.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

o’ willing death

that you should falter

from a barren road and howl

in the blood,

and like those homesick for the

womb

could ripple in the living dark.

or should you tap,

i wouldn’t dare a dirty look

over my time-worn shoulder,

where hard moments have made

runic mobs. rather would i,

wonderstruck,

gape up at that maudlin deathbed

of worshipping pinpricks;

those clean, bright stars.

where i have ever amused

a close embrace, i have been

half-hearted. watching an

umbilical of white-hot

lightning

dash across my life;

i watch it tramp out fires

in my warring heart,

one already ill with

yearning.

o’ willing death;

that you would whirl

and whisper in my arms,

but only once i wet

my scalp again in snow,

and endure yet

many moons

to come, that when they

bury my heart in los

cerrillos, the red soil

rejoices,

and those mountebank stars

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PART 13

She asks in that rehearsed tranquility; that silver voice, that comely voice in control of the drumming song of the hummingbird heart, because she’s the immovable rock. She can still be the hero.

What’re they gunna do to him?

And with the wet-blanket heat and the soft strangle of anxiety that makes the swollen edge of her nose trickle with an oval of sweat and imperceptibly tame tears tumbling down one-by-one from her smoke-burnt eyes that she can blame on the crushing stench that’s becoming insistently more putrid; she is that immovable rock. She is that silver voice in the simmering, nervous night.

They already hurt him, so now they eat him so no one can find him, the little girl says, But no hands and feet, that’s bad luck, you don’t eat that.

Can you untie me?

Mmmm, no, the little girl says in that childish way kids do with moony, large eyes, and she moves back to sit on her haunches and rocks back and forth for an absent comfort; she’s jumpy, but she’d untie her with the right coercing, or at least try to. The night is starless and peerless to all other dark nights and the little ones sunken-eyed stare bleeds out into the rest of it, making her look like a tiny, swaying skull.

The chanting and crying of the other child is loud, but there’s another shimmer of a noise quivering faintly close by. It rustles in cold-blood fully alive on nights like this and it curls, watches from somewhere. The detective says, stay still, there’s a rattler.

A snake? It won’t bite, it’s a toy, wanna see it?

No, don’t touch it. It’s not a toy.

Trust me, I play with it. It was my toy. I think it just came to life now, i’ll find it.

The little skeleton stands with difficulty, must’ve stood too swiftly, because she crashes into a brief lean onto a tree and breathes before darting out, and vanishes into a curvy palisade of shadows and thick-thighed oaks.

You just had to be the hero, the broken corpse of her father says, shaking his head, tsk tsk, from the ground where he lies.

No! Stop! The girl shouts, the detective can can hear dull thudding against thin skin, stop biting me!

The chanting dies for a moment, long enough for howling to raise itself up between the distance of it, and of her, and she looks back again even if it hurts her head where the shock had once shunned the reality of the wound, which began painfully to throb along with the gallop of her pulse.

A nude man walks down an aisle strewn with miniature bones, could be avian, limping familiarly from the right hip, wearing a paper mask similar to Baby Mikey’s, but his is a bigger dog–a wolf, with a scarlet streamer for a tongue that affords it either more primitive an appearance or sinister–yet it has antlers reaching up. The worshippers swoon to the ground and bury their faces and fingers into the hot earth, smearing their loose hair with it, bowing to him. He raises his hands up to the sky, says something that sounds more like a gurgle, but she can hear the words, lord, hear our prayers.

That’s when the gunshot strikes him in the chest.

TO BE CONTINUED…

PART 10

DETECTIVE

The light left when daddy died. The world started to get a grain over it; dimmer and dimmer went her waking life, until the doctor said it was all in her mind. Migraine auras, they’d said, without the migraine part sometimes, blind in this eye one day, blind in the other tomorrow. Get some sleep. Get some help.

Sometimes she’d think she saw something out of the corner of her eye, a loitering figure, a hunched posture, or she’d catch the heavy scent of an unbearable perfume, the kind that festers in the throat, the kind you can taste.

Everything was too loud, everything had a strong smell that made her head hurt, and sometimes she never wanted to leave the dark loam of her room. With all the lights out, she could imagine what it would be like to die.

She understood what it meant now: light of my life. Ever since the accident, she was never the same. She can still see his gasping face from when he was dying in her slender arms, and the hot flashes of the bloodied grin and the trembling sound of the death-gurgling up from deep inside of him; they wake her up at night when she’s alone.

The detective carries herself as if this burden is nothing to her. She is tall and rigid as a classical statue, saving the opportunity to pretend to be lax only for when she’s questioning suspects, with her dusky skin blemished by nothing but worry. The mother was standing outside already as she approached the weathered, molded trailer, that like a wilting flower stooped lopsided as if somebody had kicked the back of its knees and it never fully stood back up again.

Can I help you? The mother asks, she can spot a cop a mile away.

Yes, I’m looking for Gabriel, is he home? I just need to ask him a few questions about the disappearance of Miranda Delano, the detective asks. Her hands in her pockets, relaxed as she advances in her weighty boots that crack the spines of fallen sticks from the scrawly angel oak. She ignores the amorphous shimmering that’s begun in her peripheral; it’s just a migraine, like the doctors said, hormones.

He doesn’t live here anymore, ran off last night, mother says, and she stubbornly crosses her arms in the universal posture of a shut door, clearing her throat with a rattling noise as she loosens sediment there, spitting into the dog-piss grass. She’s stout and tubby and bejeweled, her eyes lined dark with black eyeshadow.

It ain’t that boy! A voice exclaims, and from what she instantly measures it’s come from behind her. The detective turns around to face the limping approach of a feeble-looking, toothless white-haired man. His cane has the image of an open-mouthed wolf on it, and he continues.

It’s them satanists, he says, age making his tone tremulous.

Satanists? So you’re saying you saw what happened? The detective asks.

No, but I heard it. And I’m a good christian man and know a satanist when I seen one, he says, stopping in front of her and leaning on his cane. It sinks in faintly and he glares at her with one bulbous eye, the pores of his nose covered in blackheads. She can smell his sweat.

What did you hear? When?

I heard a buncha howling dogs the same night that girl went missing, and I heard her screamin’ too.

Is it possible you were asleep?

He laughs, no ma’am, he says, I never sleep. You should know. By the look of you, you ain’t ever sleepin either.

What makes you think satanist just by howling?

It’s the loup garou, he says, and behind her the mother clicks her tongue in irritation. They all satanists because they been cursed by god.

What’s a loup garou? The detective asks, where do they live?

A man or a woman who takes the form of a wolf when the moons right, ya’ll call it werewolf, I call it fairytale bullshit, mother says. Ain’t no truth to it.

And where are these fairytale creatures living?

Both of them pointed her into the right direction, told her to go about a mile in, and told her to never come back at night. She wouldn’t listen; she’d be back once the sun sank down, but for now she went to see what she could find in the day.

All there was deeper in: a deer bloated stiff, shredded apart, it’s intestines alive with ants, patches of its fur strewn across the woodland floor and far away behind a thick valley of oaks, a dog staring back at her.

to be continued … 

a chalk barrier in the shade of morning-Samantha Lucero & N. Ian McCarthy

Morbid Corvid

He forgot to carve his name onto it—my slow-dead
womb builder. So he thatched this house with reeds
as presences and struck cymbals.

I gave its shambles to the fire, heaped its mar and its
lime, and the skeletal birdcage of it into the memory
of a tongueless August mouth.

Its chasm, a door—its screen porch, a belching Madonna.
Thin-torn frankincense fumes like god-blood from the split
of its rarefying wound, where the

whole of purgatory is a scent of goulash and of low mur-
murs; the sin of knowing, a Clorox-tinged swimming pool
rash and the sponge of wood rot.

the rattletrap where i watch
in flesh-colors quiet as the static
on play-slides gallop to a cutlass.

and decrepit with me in a malibu
it rusts in happy meals. bloats on
a warm backseat corpse savoring
in fragmented leather castled by
dehydrated fries like blades.

a baby tooth
unfastened…

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spaces tightly recede – samantha lucero

one of the last poems i might ever write.

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

i’m unhurt here; deeply wrapped inside this ill-starred cell.

chaste of catching time in its seeping hoards
that worm, or unpolluted by the
lightless nature of breath in my
anemic boat

i can oar inside this fervid pulse where
i’m electrically prolonged
inside that silky wave
the wistful
scene i’ll dream
and dream again

where life unearths
or perhaps, i wince and the spaces
tightly recede

and though i sink into an oily red
womb of her fastenings
i won’t dream of an appalling life
when i hiccup or pirouette my shaping
limbs to arrive at this
eternal return

of what

none outside this narrow pool
can dream or know, i’ll dream;

put me back into that blood
that last drowsy warmth
of my eyes yawned shut
before the first scream.

to sleep and sleep and finally sleep!


Samantha Lucero writes at sixredseeds.

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1.

 

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a city map is sewn in the scalp;
looped in the goat-milk, or spit out,
tongued in silky blades of stomped
down grass.

i’m crowned with high-pitched fingers
clenched in fur.
in octaves only shades can bear, i simmer
in their holy cradles.
i become the roughened corner of a mouth
grinning at its own joke.

there, the receding home in ranch-style polaroids of a dirty blond stranger and my mother squinting in the sun; some home not mine or yours.

ventricles, which
in a woman’s left grows tiny,
and in a man’s more supple.
i keep alive by milking goats.

some like lifelines, some like ulcers
the city streets are braided in my hair.

samantha lucero 2018 ©

 

time who kills – samantha lucero

SD work.

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

who kills, father time?

time who kills:
all things.
startling with the drip of a chrysalis stuck threading in a tapered night that once slurped on breast milk and sour bread. a man where clearwing moths have suckled in.
though he peals in fishnets, loud in a mouthy reservoir of silk,
cum is mud, and mud-worms next to a flaring wing, flowering on a spectral chin, making a seedling.
he’s supine underneath the antlers of his boney hands, he’s castrated
or perhaps submerged in the deepest pore of hell. his sons are the immaterial sky, the apathetic sea, the under-dark.
parents, handfuls of dirt, the bleeding ulcers inside the intestines of earth.

time who kills
father time, luxuriating in an oblong sludge, in chianti bottles marked vintage,
“vintage has to be over twenty-five years,” that cunt would squawk, “antique has to be over 100.”
where are the unwashed…

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hours 

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I see those mottled photos, ornate albums

of yesterdays yellow sun

Of swollen women, dream-like, in a lavender field.

They leash their arms around an oval-shape

becoming empty; the shape deflates, the air comes out like water.

It starts to breathe it’s own small breath in the shape of a person,

someday a man, a woman, sometimes swollen, sometimes

stiff, stark, or bleeding.

Seeing those photos one day,

your nose has memorized leather and tobacco flower.

for her, it’s dr.pepper, Disney on ice

the coty musk she never knew she had just inside the pi of bone.

 

samantha lucero 2017 ©

untitled

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my scent, not his scent,
but by some changeling blood
could spread the same smile
on halloween. on christmas
waking up in blankets
it didn’t fall asleep in.

there’s bricks that hold down a red
bottlebrush flower from 1994.
remember,
she called you honeysuckle,
and thought rats had no bones.

i remember
my small hand in his
big glove, rough inside
like sand paper. old yellow leather in
a white truck stuck together
with luck, cigarettes in a soft pack,
right in your shirt pocket, next to the
heart in my hand, in your glove
in a warm cup of coffee,

i could live on that smell and skip
meals for the month of
october.
just the memory of it,
and the dregs of
california pain.

i could armor myself in you.
live in your flannel and die.
carve a valknut in my chest
over the hole where no light
can get in.

but you’re the one with
the valknut – you’re
the one who earned it.

through a violent death,
but you’d want the cross
instead.

“these violent delights
have violent ends.”

scorpio.

scorpio.

scorpio.

 

samantha lucero 2017 ©

It’s no comfort – Samantha Lucero

© Samantha Lucero 2017

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

It’s no comfort knowing that you’re buried,
deep down, taking earth around you
like blankets that fall apart and crawl.

But seasons still disrobed like actors
backstage in a play, in front of
everyone. Even with you
gone, the world moved on.
And I watched. We all did.
Forced to watch, without you,
with seasons pouring the years
between us in vanishing old flannel,
smelling like Salem filter kings,
soft.

Spring grew through us both
like a blade.
And you died in the summer.

A diamond in that box
they buried you in, deep down,
where you fall apart and crawl, too,
by now. Still waiting to be proposed,
like the plan to go back to Santa Fe.

Sometimes I wait for you to show,
maybe at the movie I go to alone,
sitting next to me when I peek over
in the flickering dark.
You could come around a…

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