UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY


ANTONIA CLARK

Flame

We came back ravenous,
strangers in a strange house,
looking for something to devour.

We ransacked cupboards, tore
through closets of musty clothes
that swayed before us like shades

of our former selves. We spilled
drawers like robbers, strewed
rusty utensils, forgotten IOUs,

flung cushions, groped under
mattresses for something illicit,
shocking, hands and faces burning.

Eyes bright, we finally got down
to it, hurting each other the way
we'd been dying to for years.

Then slept, back to back, bare
branches scraping the black glass,
clawing their way into our fever dreams.


Siren

Only half woman, I'll never hold you for long.
Yet I can keep you up at night, promises slipping
like songs from my honeyed tongue. Thoughts
dark and sweet as plums tumble between us.
Take and eat, I say. And you do.
Though you swore you would not.

Later you'll drift into perilous dreams, forgetting
to be wary, fingers tangled in my salty hair,
wondering: cat or snake, devil or ghost—
nursing your mortal need to name, to husband.
Your ship lies splintered below the cliffs.
And my teeth are very sharp.


Antonia Clark is a medical writer in Burlington, Vermont. A former creative writing instructor, she co-administers an online poetry forum, The Waters. Her poems have appeared in The 2River View, Mannequin Envy, The Pedestal, Stirring, Rattle, and elsewhere. She loves French food and wine, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.







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