Two poems by Alexus Erin • Empty Mirror

sixsix / credit: de

And So

I missed autumn: it ran past me. The leaves and feathers,
elms and erins
built themselves an island coastline
of useless request:
asking the people we love to account
for their violence. I was worried
about the white sheets on the bed, the beach,
the overlapping Margaret Atwood poems, cut each from their mother verse:
“trees”
“shouting”
“children shooting guns”
“clean water”.

There was dough rising in the gibbous light,
olive pits we left on the table, striped stupid
by their own tiny invasions. I was worried about
all the bread, all the oil they were asking us to eat.
Us, finally; I’m glad I said it. This is something
we made up together- not as intimate
as I previously thought
It speared last June
chaotic, pissing the carpet
between the first and sixth of the month. I was worried, then,
about museums

exhibits of round, pink Plexiglas, bulbous,
hanging, suspended. Of deliverance songs that sounded
suspiciously like the newspaper headline:
killer cop
going free

On Appetite

I said I would never be hungry again. I meant it as a threat
Now I think about threats: winter’s resolute echo,

cold and loud as any move against rest. I ate alone, in stillness.
Only breakfast food. When I was in love, I wrote solely about bread

I didn’t realize I was doing this. Every poem was a ball of dough,
made to be proofed, ovened and torn by companioned hands-

this very motion: a retreat, in order to return and be filled
What a good contradiction this is. I haven’t eaten yet today;

I said grace, regardless. This how most of my poems go
I am excited to bake, and break bread with you again.

My threats are as such: I am willing to be left half-done, to go unfed
The growl isn’t coming from my stomach. It is coming from my mouth.

About Alexus Erin

Alexus Erin is an American poet, performer and PhD candidate living in the UK. Her poetry has previously appeared in Potluck Magazine, The Melanin Collective, The Nervous Breakdown, The Audacity, American Society of Young Poets, God Is in the TV, LEVELER, Red Flag Poetry, Silk + Smoke, and a host of others. She is the author of two chapbooks: Two Birds, All Moon (Gap Riot Press, 2019) and St. John’s Wort (Animal Heart Press, 2019). She was the 2018 Poet Fellow of the Leopardi Writers Conference and a performer at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2018).

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