SELF-PORTRAIT OF MY THROAT AS A VASE

Tell me there are endless petals,
palettes without limit,
ruffled oath dripping off my impulse.
Ribboned aperture,
a pitch craving,
the candid lure for picturesque.
The constant hunt for ardent parallel leaves me worn,
looking, leaves me.
It seems I’m always holding and never held.
Tell me that joy is sustainable, some fragrant signal,
that if I plucked the fruit from another
still life it would not be rotten.
I want not the thing but the thick of it. The sugar
crushed grit solved and sent
give it to me
double open voice
begging euphoric labor


NO ONE’S SURPRISED WHEN I ASK IF I’M HERE

I’m on my third body
of the month,
singing in a choir
organized & among others.
Melodic limb,
fruit out of season.
I love myself
among other
mouths. Wounded note
clamor, nobody’s
contender.

Here are my hands.
Look at them
making, make them move
look at my making.

This place is in part me,
midheaven weave
brushed against carry.
Marble knuckle’s
subtle comb keeps
me from making
a mistake no one asks.


RACHEL CRUEA is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is originally from Findlay, Ohio. Along with serving as the assistant managing editor of Timber, she is the poetry editor for GASHER, and has previously published her work in editions of Jet Fuel Review, The Pinch, The Adroit Journal, Birds Piled Loosely, and elsewhere.