Two poems by Joanna Cleary

that afternoon / credit: de

I Cook Us Beets

I cook us beets, using the red to smear your teeth with love. This poem
will not be long. I make us beets, pulling them apart like convex
and ashamed little hearts. You are yearned for most
when you are saturated. Last night, I split open
my lip talking of mundane things: you,
23 years married, golfer, lover
of the absence in light.
This poem will
turn until
it finds
and then go back
towards the pale garden
which appears in the dreams
I tell you of in the mornings before you
leave for work. May it always be the mornings
before you leave for work, your back bent as you get
your lunch from our fridge, asking me what I want for dinner
and if you should pick up anything on your way home.

Leaving Sonnet

On the way to the bus terminal, I
Pause by graffiti sprayed on a brick wall
Of mortal flesh touching immortal flesh
That one parent dislikes and the other
Has no opinion of. It’s like sonnet-
Writing, I say, without knowing the things
That will be preserved. I will soon travel
Blankly through night like child-skin walking in
a bus driver’s anonymous mirage.
Love you, I tell my parents when I board
and watch other people through the windows
As the curved glass of my corneas swell
Against flesh and bone. The immortal flesh
Unmakes our remaining, lovely sunlight.

About Joanna Cleary

Joanna Cleary is an undergraduate student double majoring in English Literature and Theatre and Performance at the University of Waterloo. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in The /tƐmz/ Review, The Hunger, Pulp Poets Press, Every Pigeon, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and Subterranean Blue Poetry, among others. She is also currently a Blog Editor for Inklette Magazine. Follow her on instagram @joannacleary121.

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