Literary Yard

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‘Terpischore’ and other poems by Mahala Spillers

By: Mahala Spillers


Leather bound arcane gesture;
I feel it on my pulse.
As I yield my wrists up to you,
Terpishore sways between the air gaps,
Busting the pipeline alive for you to hear.

Can’t you see that she bore you?
Out of wedlock it seems.
And she’s so bored of the chore that dancing brings,
Because her body’s only function is to impress you,
But you never say a thing.

I think she’s weeping.
Because you built your temple to Ares
on the wind-bent night you were conceived.
Her ovaries twitched to free you,
And her madness collided around you;
You plodded down and ignored her,
Blissfully unaware of the cadences she could bring.

The jelly clots in her neck ripple and gush on the leather.
She laughs now to remind you,
That you’re rusting too.


Loxosceles Recluse

My wrists are squared from impact,
Bent backwards on the butterfly chair.
Neighborhood streetlamps oozing on my exposed back,
Like pacific fluorescence hot enough to burn bugs.

Jeering at herself in the mirror;
Her mouth tangled, untrue.
She lies fiddleback on the carpet,
Clawing and swimming fingers afloat the threads.
Accustomed to nothing,
Splitting apart for a hand to part the split of the stomach.


Artificial Light

The moth followed me home.
Dusting his pollen on my shoulder;
He sniffles in my ear,
Wallowing and lazily pleading.
He is too much like me.
I made sure to keep all of the lights off;
I’d hate to give him hope,
Someone gave too much to me,
And look what good it’s done.
There’s a shiny new gypsy moth,
Lymantria beauty,
Promising my moth a bulb.
He’s eager and hopeful,
Buzzing around, grinning, rejoicing.
I’d hate for him to realize how dim all of this is.
I shine out to him with the first lamp I’ve shown him,
He flutters on my knees.
While he disappears, bewitched by my artificial sunshine,
I pluck his rough rope wings off and place them to flame.
He is now permanently transfixed without flight,
but I keep him there in front of his light.

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