Two Poems, by Alison Daniel.

Hollow Bones

Witchcraft whitens trees, labyrinthine
caves hide sandstone names. Landscapes
frame speculation sorcery is a woman
turning twice to the east, twice to the west.

Sophistication is a day without instinct
tearing at the seams. Underneath the veil,
garments washed in broad daylight dry
near drifting pollen. A visitor arrives.

She ties him to the bed with the silky
strength of vocal cords. The thread
fashions a hammock rocking quiet
words silent the eve before he leaves.


Naming Trees

I used to think branches meant hands
and that hands would lead to ancestors.
If I look closely at each line,

the sight of tooth and bone,
all those rows of ancestors grow
when the pad of your palm is pressed.

We talk about how things begin,
how they end. We talk as if any day
sacred scenes never leave

the instant I hear those sounds
you make with your mouth
closing mine, or when your fingertips

knead as if planting seeds
in grooves that could be groves.
Between each gap of open lip,

sweat saps sleep. There is only
birth and death exposed in the jut
of hip, and when we lie on our side,

we speak the name of ancient trees,
pretending to know
what they really mean.

Alison Daniel is a writer, living and working (as a reluctant nurse) in Australia. Her work has been widely published in Australia, New Zealand and in the USA. Online, her poetry has appeared in Stirring, Conspire, The Absinthe Literary Review, Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), Recursive Angesl, Atomic Petals, Mentress Moon and other journals.


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