in the soil of my palms, I found
the teeth of young boys sown
shallow in the lifeless loam. Of course
I didn’t ask for this. The wolf came
inside me, splayed, and before I knew it
there they were. Dark, bloodied riddles.
Body, a quarry. …

Each day this winter
I have passed a smear of tar

in the snow
outside my apartment

and gone ahead
inside to warmth

only to realize
all this time

all these cold
lifeless days

it was not tar
but a small young crow

left wingless
in the cold

for someone

© Ben French, 2017

I just want rest. I just want one day
where my voice feels smooth again.
Where words still feel like rocks
but now at least are slick with rain. Honestly,
I just want rain, want southern thunder and lightning
and is it so much to ask for it all
to roll over the field…

you’ve made for me, probing its simmering skin,
slipping the blade beneath the surface
how a sensation enters a palm, yolk oozing; when you talk
about anything: your father, your neighbors, the stupidity
of parking meters, but especially the night you were mugged,
all the people who entered your life like a parade
of joyous peonies…

Hands of the Puppeteer, Tina Modotti

When Trauma visits your sublet
as a coal-black pitbull
he does not wear the bell
you tied around his neck. Last time
you said you wanted him
to sound pretty, something like a cathedral
if he wanted to keep being friends.
Friendship or not, Trauma always knows

Ben French

Interdisciplinary artist and writer. Medium Partner Program Contributor.

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