A girl’s life
is about dancing
as an amenable animal,
entering a crown of ghost
spaces where she was once
invited but is now banned.
Her pelvis is an envelope
that gallops in the rain.
Not a catastrophe this cave
of unbelonging. Better
to yowl about sowing
& dawning, invite the genesis
of authentic pink breath,
not death, not mock orange.
On a clear night her ankles
lift, the pungent past
of boyfriends abandoned
in the olive of her mind.
No clutter, no violence,
but the aching boat
a slip of speech in
where a mouth is still
forming what it wants.
Mother, Can You Hear Me?
after Yehuda Amichai
My mother is a tree in an orchard,
covered with a kerchief of leaves.
O widows with winter in their breasts,
take more time to tell tales.
My ears are shells curved to the wind
to split secrets open.
I walk toward a wall of sound,
discern syllables & scribbles.
Through my heart’s hole,
a whistle, distant thunder.
Always something expunged,
recycled like glass.
Ode to Self-Love After 50
I’m on the border of a dyed-orange landscape
yearning for birdsong in tight spaces
with anointed brow & clogged pores / I want
to be unencumbered / tossed as taut tendrils
loosed from skull & belly to slip spare change
to sons / clip consonants from the mouths
of daughters / my ankles are moonslicked
to counter humidity’s increased hormones
but why is the threshold so dry / long vowels
salted with silver strands / inserted into cups
that spill like blossoms but are safety pins
unfurled as I listen to autumn’s ear
deafblindbruised with blasphemous charm
existence is exhaustion that dared to escape
from nothingness / derived from a tulip’s
walls of flame / o compromised coupling
the stars are in command / with nanoseconds
of noticing / help me brave the thin blue line
outlining my thighs / as I sleep with myself
nude body against cold glass panes
when I pickpocket the past / I look for
remedy in confession & the balm
of lost hours / poke holes in wrinkles
sink into the vegetable world unattached
I’m finely tuned / river stones tumbling
not looking back for a second glance
Susan Michele Coronel lives in New York City. Her poems have appeared in publications including Spillway 29, TAB Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Gyroscope Review, Prometheus Dreaming, Redivider, and One Art. In 2021 one of her poems was runner-up for the Beacon Street Poetry Prize, and another was a finalist in the Millennium Writing Awards. She has received two Pushcart nominations. Her first full-length poetry manuscript was a finalist for Harbor Editions’ 2021 Laureate Prize. To read more of Susan’s poems, you can visit her website at www.susanmichelecoronel.com or her Facebook page (Susan Michele Coronel).