Salt (in the Wound)

Painting by Elena Katsyura

What did you learn in school today, the bored mom asked her teenage son at the dinner table
not looking up from her phone
not noticing quiet tears falling on shuffled peas.

How to multiply polynomials, conjugate in the subjunctive, how violently sudden the last gasp of air comes to the bullet-holed classmate, how it feels to be expendable, grieving, and let down all at once. That was never on the syllabus or the glossy website. Forget being fruitful and multiplying when we don’t even know what X is. Forget wishing and hoping when we shed (others’) blood for the correct version of hypothetical. We are willing to (let someone else) die for what we are (not) willing to sacrifice. Don’t ever tell me to be bold again if this is what it looks like.  Read More

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Supernatural Birth

Art by Stepha Lawson

My midwife gave me a visualization assignment that I normally wouldn’t take too seriously, not prescribing to the “law” of attraction but rather more to the principles of prayer and surrender. But after just having read Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent, I’m interested to try this as an exercise to funnel good thoughts and intentions into a desired outcome. If I am a co-creator, after all…  Read More

Pindrop 


“There’s nothing to say about maritime sadness:
Immodest signals from unreachable islands,
Earthrise on the moon.”
– James Galvin, from ‘Something to Save Us’

Cull the living world, its krill
Roil its blues and greens and whites
With fingertip the needle eye
In vast stifled space from lunar foothold
Anchor drifts as murmuring plankton —
Somewhere you are at bottom of my mind Read More

Poetry Challenge: Pentimento

A hidden face in Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Old Guitarist’, 1903-04

Hi everyone, just wanted to invite you all over to dVerse Poets Pub as I am hosting the prompt this evening. We’ll be looking at the pentimento in art and reflecting on a time when we too have changed our minds. You can see that my latest poem, ‘Milk‘ is an example. So write a poem on this topic in any chosen form and link it up by following this link. The prompt will be open until 1pm Rocky Mountain Time, Thursday, February 8. Hope to see you there!

2018, Amaya Engleking

Milk

You mark an X
on your chart. Your plan is just an infant,
a lone, whining cry for a bottle of smeared Milky Way.

-Cathryn Hankla, from poem ‘The Palm Galaxy’

Voice like a tentacle grew out from All
Prosodic light named me to be born
Winced, I already felt shattered
Falling into time and a cut/open womb
I squirmed cold in skin and sinew
Heaven pulsated and recoiled into a distant dot Read More

Ignite

Amaya, 2007

You who have lived many layers of lifetimes overlying just one body. The serious kid who took pride in her father — and her mother, for granted. The college girl with once a head of “dreamy blonde” highlights who spent her restaurant paycheck on $220 Versace sunglasses, a tank of gas, and a bottle of Bordeaux. The fervent penitent who sought God within church walls… Read More

Portrait of a February Morning


I stepped outside onto the back porch to let the dog out first thing and a rush of vitality filled me as the cedar smoke of our neighbors’ chimney and the cold wet in the air stung my bare face. The mountains to the south were already enshrouded in heavy cloud and a few snow flurries met the wafts of smoke-drift. Winter! I need it. What a revival from the malaise of warm, dry January, sickly like overripe fruit in a moist and sealed container. Defying the seasons and the natural order of life cycles like the technological revolution.  Read More