TWO POEMS
sarah j. sloat

STARING CONTEST

A word
to the wise: touché.
I go about swanbent, cock-
sure and set to snap, despond
gone elastic. This is the handicapped
attractive, back buckling toward a magnetic
north. Like ladies on antique China plates, feet
a mangle of bandages, I sway as if on eggs, a bowling pin
knocked and wobbling, a brusque brunette become rumsumptuous,
bones groping for the ballerina bar, loath
to forego the booty, disinclined
to take it lying down.

 

BEDSIDE BOOKS

 

No librarian can recount how
it came to such a random stacking.

They smuggled dust, trafficked
flap and strange arrangements;

being bedfellows, they mixed
their fictions, but of origin

they didn’t have the faintest,
not the foggiest bibliography.

In some tortured lore it’s said
they arrived in clutches,

plotters, yes, but unprepared.
Disembarking, they were detained

while those vested checked
their papers. Idle, poised to loiter,

they built asymetrical cities
of highrise and shantytown,

smokestack and minaret,
more balustrade than buttress,

less waystation than common grave.
Some came by chance, assembling

one by one, overnight,
like the freight of poltergeist.

But some were sentenced,
for years, sometimes for life.

 

 

 

Sarah J. Sloat comes from New Jersey but has stopped counting the years she's lived in Germany. Her poems have appeared in Juked, Court Green, and Rhino and in the chapbook, In the Voice of a Minor Saint (Tilt Press). Sarah writes most of her poems in a spiral notebook and does most of her blogging at The Rain in My Purse. If she doesn't answer the phone, she's stuck in a subway somewhere, hopefully accompanied by a good book.