Two Poems:

By Amy Alexander

Note from the author: The poems come from my chapbook, “The House You Carry Inside You.” This book reflects on my childhood as a lonely survivor of a terrible assault that happened when I was six years old. At the time, I lived in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where nature and the city met. A young man from the neighborhood grabbed me and dragged me into a riverbottom/wetland and sexually and physically assaulted me. I thought I would not survive. I did, barely, but it changed me forever. This past spring, I wrote these poems in a form I invented with thirteen lines and rhyming couplets. This form feels weird, like me. So I love it.

Wolf in Girl’s Clothing

When at a loss for stories or description,
I turned, instead, to painting a perception,
a wolf in a river holding up pink pants
took over my artwork, something my parents
could never hear, emerged as this beast
trying on clothes. It was whimsical, at least,
and nonthreatening — enough that I could face,
finally, the truth: The girl, before, erased,
quick as dust. Too little to take action,
I blamed myself, became a collection
of things I could talk about and not shame
a wolf in girl’s clothing forgetting my name

Everything in the Heart is Missed

The cold room lives here, if I move back my rib
there’s the bed by the wall, a desk, a pencil nib
the smokestack stabs through my middle, boarded up,
but the frozen air sits, a burp,
threatening to shove deeper. Women feel this
differently. Everything in the heart is missed,
it seems, because the medical posters were all drawn
of men, the books are about them, I’m a fawn
you can look at, with the standards centered square
on you. What’s that like? To be the one behind the stare,
you bother me with it, you know,
flowers on my wallpaper, I hide under snow

Amy Alexander is a mother, journalist, poet, and visual artist. Her work has appeared most recently in Mojave Heart Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Tiny Flames, The Ginger Collect, The RKVRY Journal, and The Remembered Arts. Her art and poetry book, “The Legend of the Kettle Daughter,” is forthcoming from Hedgehog Poetry Press in April 2019. Follow her on Twitter @Iriemom.