Lay your head down to sleep with word for word transcripts of murder trials still ringing in your ears. One thousand stories from neighbors of lawless men. Their mouths open like baby blackbirds spewing out ink, instead of tiny songs, a river into the corridors of the dead. Sit down for cups of black tea without milk or sugar cubes, and someone might spill their guts. Reveal the location of the grand- children, now living by the dark harbors of Florida, avoiding Cubans, sharing Christmas dinners, no mention of court cases, criminal charges, black and white mug shots like school photos, a new one every year. Someone’s niece will tell you the entire truth if you gift her with black diamonds, panther skin rugs, a chapter in your book. She’s poised and reinvented, gathering canned food for mothers and wives who fled the crime scene with all their possessions, carried like wounded children, on their tired backs.
Although she received her MFA in Creative Writing more than 25 years ago, Beth Gordon can best be described as an emerging writer. She is the proud mother of three creative human beings, Matt, Alex and Elise, who fill her world with art and music. Beth resides in St. Louis, Missouri and spends most weekends in the company of fellow writers, musicians, wine drinkers, and two dogs named Izzie and Max.
I'm standing in the wind.
We had five years left to cry,
stay in, get things done.
The wordy gurdy stands
quiet in the middle of my head;
missing pieces [with just enough
shine] rubber-banded tog-
Back then, when she rose
from her beach chair, the weave imprinted itself
on the backs of her jiggly thighs.
Who would have carried it this far,
up the crest between watersheds,
then quit before the downhill?
This was your domain.
Pocket jingling a handful of brads, flat pencil behind your ear,
you’d bore through the browsers; pay and go.
When you rose from the sea
the crown of your head
touched the clouds
A conveyor belt delivers mutton and fowl.
Hot meringues suffer and collapse
under my ruthless fork.
His breath tripped over words stuck between his teeth
and tongue as sinewy shoulders curved.
The child stood, small, shivering in her tattered brown coat,
a dented, scuffed brown suitcase gripped in her hand.
mushrooms, beets, carrots, cabbage,
uncle’s ashen face.