EXPANSIVE POETRY ONLINE
A Journal of Contemporary Arts 

 

poems

by
 

CHARLES SOUTHERLAND
____________

 

BODY LANGUAGE

 

Your shoulders sag and stumble when she falls
down sick, unlike a manufactured shrug
indifferent to diffidence and calls
from relatives removed from cancer’s lug.
Reflexively, your taste goes dry. You chug
an overpriced unsweetened drink and wait
for diagnosis and the stage the bug
has taken in her—they can’t operate.
You don’t believe in God, but even fate
can’t keep you from the chapel or your knees
when you go bargaining—where you equate
your jargon with a prayer while begging, please.
Your odds are much like hers, and in the red,
your eyes reveal your soul and where it’s led. 

 

 

 

 

GRIMM'S TWISTED BLIZZARD

 

When you professed your love there in the road
to me, I found it was the strangest place.
Too late, I saw the sign that I’d been snowed

and when the plow came through to spread its load
of salt, it flattened me without a trace
when you professed your love there in the road.

Well, I’d been trucked before. I had the mode
down pat, and yeah, I’d melted down, my face
too late to see the sign that I’d been snowed,

but when it hit me, I was ready, owed
myself the pain of being flung through space
when you professed your love there in the road.

How did it miss you?, love, I mean—unload
itself of savor? I don’t get it, Lace.
Too late I saw the sign. That I’d been snowed

was not in question, knowing that a toad
cannot with kisses make a prince’s case.
When you professed your love there in the road,
too late I saw the sign that I’d been snowed.

 

 

               

 

 

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