every day i experience thinness cracking to bits     
                            along a line of recurring grief
a monochrome voice echoes continue
                                                         without end
last words' dissolute purple
                                              smokes into scene
of nursery, middle school, trains
                                 never arrived at their work
mortality picks a blue thread a long way off
                                 love fuel to ransom beauty
new yorkers bridge and tunnelling
                     more rodent than resident shroud
under bridges division.



do you recall hibiscus winter
blooms coral with pause not deja vu memory?

its twin volcano belched feathers and envy.
do you recall your partiality—a gold ring erased

that circled my passion before you took it back.
i was taken aback. hurt, not by the november

of meeting but by the blunt force of autumn fear.
why harbor craven as diaphanous hours

or nurse with nectar the coward who betrays you?
throbbing unhoused as feral goddess,

sitting skirt and pant leg abreast on august porch
swing. alone, shared memory inflicts corporal

punishment. sun's cold shoulder.
moon's white-gold loose-tooth grin.

want burned whiskey-eyed and tygerish
against a south hewn in ice.



on a single let out tail of silk
an octet of legs are borne away.

we so alike we are an ocean;
we so alike we're the same polarity.

less falcon fall, less fire grabbed,
there's little respect for Icarus.

into a dream, i mouthed anchor me,
whispered cloth, between our bow of lips.

love the line in your palm,
and feet roots, the spool's secure filagree

of confinement. don't be afraid of the nude
folded future at beautiful hand.

the silver line snagged its aorta on edge
of sky. take me now hand to mouth.

moan stay. don't title the loose end:

or call my solitude, sunbeam-steamed-away,
Fate—not the kiss we're taking.

stephanie roberts has work featured or forthcoming, in numerous periodicals, in North America and Europe, including Arcturus, Rising Phoenix Review, OCCULUM, Atlanta Review, and Burning House Press. A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, she explores reverence from a wee French town outside of Montréal. Twitter shenanigan @ringtales.