Poetry

“Rain” and other poems by Elizabeth Stansberry

By: Elizabeth Stansberry 

goodrain

“Rain”
I know a man who works
in coffee
and
chemistry.
He can tell you how many cups of coffee it takes
to create
the perfect Buzz.
5 to 7.
He can tell you how many atoms are in the average human body.
About
7 billion billion billion
He can tell you how to make hydrogen bombs
in between bitchy customers.
Yesterday ,I saw him drawing molecules, while drinking black coffee
through a straw.
Every time he talks about chemistry, he runs his hands through his hair,
and grins.
I once saw him explain the explosive reaction of calcium carbide
and water,
While drawing hearts
on a latte.
Today, he gave me a reason to love
Matter
and Molecules.
But I’m betting,
He will never be able to match his socks, or tell her
that he loves the way she laughs
In the rain.

###

“Shadows”
She cut her hands
in The Knowing.
She wanted to bleed
A
Rainbow.
She wore old fashioned lace
And smoked menthol cigarettes
Not because she liked it.
Just to feel close to her
Again.
She tiptoes across barren
Landscape
Expecting a goldmine
An atom
Bomb.
A stray wanderer with
Too many names.
No.
Machetes hanging over her
Head
Like clouds.
Living on
A tilt.
It isn’t enough to rise
You have to
Burn
In
Magic.

###

“Maria”

While waiting at a bus stop,
I meet a woman named
Maria.
I quickly learn that this is probably
Not her
only
name.
In between scarlet siren lights,
and vicious sunbeams,
She tells me she is not a
gang
member.
It is now July,
Maria tells me she still has
Christmas trees
dancing in her head.
Silver bells spell out the name
of her only son,
Anthony.
I see Maria in a tethered yellow
coat,
She thinks the coat is hiding her
Bruises,
broken bones,
I can still
see them.
I look over my shoulder to
see her,
pulling out her crumpled copy
of her birth
certificate.
She whispers,
Soy un ciuando Americano.
Es Spanish,
She says.
I nod.
She opens her mouth again,
Speaking louder
this time,
I am an American citizen.
This time, in stilted English.
I nod again.
A sore spot blooms in my heart,
for this too familiar
Stranger.
I finally learn that her abusive husband
reported her to
ICE.
False.
She screams.
False.
My tears are burning
my cheeks.
My fear of being late
for work,
is gone.
I grab her hand,
my throat burning,
and tell her
It will all be
OK.

###

“The Elephant isn’t real”

I emptied out my
savings
on a flashing light
tonight.
I used to live in an
elephant park.
Not as magical as it
sounds.
It had a large silver elephant,
a shiny slide to hide under,
At Christmas
time,
and a few polite
cannabis dealers,
who offered blankets,
and a neon green
lighter.
I used to write poems for rolls
and butter.
Tonight.
Tonight,
I sat on the
top of
Fortune.
I ripped out my heart
for a tray of golden
coins.
I felt
Victorious.
Accomplished.
This is the American
Dream.
Spending fortunes on
adrenaline rushes
When strangers on T.V.
are dying.
I made it.
I reached the top
of the top the
Ladder.
I’m hanging on the top rung,
By a
Golden thread.
Look.
Look at me.
I’m something now.
Just as much loneliness,
More glitter.
Just as much regret,
More heat.
I can be that girl.
The one in the silver
cocktail dress,
Ribs showing through.
The one with too much
Rougee
And the airbrushed
Smile.

###

“Divinity “

In Biblical times
And the airbrushed smile.
9 was considered to be the symbol
Of divine will.
Tonight
I see the stars strung out in formation
Of
9.
My only divine will is to
Survive.
I am not a godess bursting with golden wishes.
I am called to lie down in grassy fields,
And dream of my
Immortal
Ruminations.
I have stopped breathing
9 times
So says my narrow
Memory.
When I woke up from the haze
I was gifted
Humanity.
Here is your double horned, joyful
Prize.
Humanity.
Like a leper straight out of Leviticus 13,
I rise, my hands fixed in the prayer pose.
Like a star battered by storms
I rise, flashing in an overwhelming
Glory.
When I open the bible and the spine
Cracks.
Oh lord
Was I born to be the saved
Or
The savior ?and an air brushes
Smile.

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Categories: Poetry

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