a poem

image by author

Dried morning of dark rose
emerges in crumbling light
your petals litter the floor
like thousands before
thrown at my feet
carried in my teeth
bathed in blossom tears
a robe of fresh blooms
flower-scented skin.

Crone lover kisses
the red peony beating wildly in my chest
all women’s faces… a bouquet
sculpted by lust
manicured by motherhood
they smell of rose and lavender
they speak with lilac tongues.

Cinematic memory dyed purple with pansy
imagine that…
butterscotch candies between their legs
vulva orchid nectar condensed
Now
she owns the rooms in your mind
taking more space than ever before
that feline verve becomes the show
feet…


free verse

image by author

I only sing inside
my savaged chords
torn by forced speech
subject to my grinding output
battered by a hailstorm of thought
they didn’t choose their song
conscripted to carry a wry humor
a pithy bark and hoarse observations
scratchy as an old summer day
abused as a dog-eared book.

Poor innocent reeds
brutally harnessed to convey
checkered cynicism
inside jokes
and plaintive sobs.

My cracked voice is a consequence
of inescapable entropy
a sequence of decline that began at birth
a lovely nihilism that ends
in a concert of divine disintegration.

But
if you touched me inside
massaged my organs
just so
I’d…


free verse

Composite image of an open mouth expressing pain, chalk drawn tentacles and scratched metal textures. The palette is dark.
Composite image of an open mouth expressing pain, chalk drawn tentacles and scratched metal textures. The palette is dark.
image by author

I know that you lie
in the black reign of empty night
alone inside the creeping fire
you live in the palm of your hand
the bird incessantly pecks
tapping your spinal fluid
pinching you hard under the table
like a cruel sibling
this invisible companion
transforms your day and night
all along the fences of doubt
bones looking for tomorrow
weeping that crawls to nowhere
long fingers buried
beneath great-grandmother’s Sunday hat.

Jaguar night slays the gazelle of youth
no blood-flowers left
moving slyly in her perfect garden
if only she’d had places to go on trolleys
money and time
just not to…


a response poem to Dancing in Tongues by Justin Haag

Composite image of a dancing mirrored to herself in a bank of clouds, the palette is in black and white with touches of red hues.
Composite image of a dancing mirrored to herself in a bank of clouds, the palette is in black and white with touches of red hues.
image by author

The art of my worship
joy in expelling music through
every pore of my living flesh
vibrations seize my feet and hands
my heads lulls
momentarily losing balance
but I don’t
somehow animated
writhing and lithe
a marionette strung through a symphony
the music channels me
and though I quiver from exhaustion
I cannot cease to move.

This dance is not mine
the gods of music play me
instrument and vessel
heart chained to the throbbing universe
Sliding leaping jerking
stretching pumping
hip-hopping tiptoeing
swirling and twirling
head thrown back
benediction of the sky!

And how is this idolatry to…


free verse

Composite image of a woman’s frightened eyes, rusting texture and cosmic fractals in muted and dark tones.
Composite image of a woman’s frightened eyes, rusting texture and cosmic fractals in muted and dark tones.
Image by Author

Flagged from hurt
still plunging forward on my cane
clothes are strewn across the floor
we need a vacuum, and we don’t have one
I want a cat, and we don’t have that either.

Please soothe this brow
promise no more of the madness
I don’t know who went cackling into the night
or if the one who returned was still me
retreat the colors from the front lines
send in mental medics.

But — keep the motor running clean
I’d like to go again…
not to the precipice
not to the very edge
not looking over
not to imagine falling
not feeling the tug of…


a poem

Composite image of a woman’s eyes, with a third eye in the center of her forehead. Hindu writing can be faintly seen as an overlay.
Composite image of a woman’s eyes, with a third eye in the center of her forehead. Hindu writing can be faintly seen as an overlay.
Image by author

In the green raw space of morning
you enter my mind, Devani
graceful as a leaf filtering sun and mist
ghost feet moving toward the altar
awash in murmurs of reverence
for life and death — just the same.

I recall your easy arrangement of potted plants
breathing the sky in gray light
beneath your windows
a shelter for rejected animals
in the chambers of your heart
you held them so close
even after…
their corpses in your freezer
ventricle, aorta
waiting in stasis
still-life in fur.

You hair dyed as fresh blood
crimson lips colliding in the vulva of your…


Composite image of a woman’s profile, splashes of red paint and her eyes show faintly in the background.
Composite image of a woman’s profile, splashes of red paint and her eyes show faintly in the background.
image by author

offered in response to the Scrittura prompt: infatuation

Andrea Juillerat-Olvera

Interpreter, Teacher, Artist.

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