Two Poems

Emily Dickinson


a lovely test perched in her throat

                                           like a song


                                      waiting to fly

                   from the hyoid bone —


                                   for decades after

               she embraced susan’s body


                                      penciling love

letters                                    & poems 

                                   on scrap papers


                               though suspicion

            about their passionate affair 



                  so they washed their feet

                     for their journey ahead


            covered themselves in sheets 

        until their bodies were hidden


                               and names erased:

                                           later found 




i want to sew     stones     inside 

pockets of skin. tired   of   floating

let me sink     in the uninhabited parts

of soft fat   plush & kept warm.

your belly noises & rhythms:   heart 

beat.  exhale.  heartbeat.  inhale. 

a rumble     of     stomach. the giggle

hollow from your lungs   through 

your chest   to my ear   to my brain —

i love you in    many languages

yet     the silent kind   is   best.

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john compton (b. 1987) is gay poet who lives in kentucky. he lives in a tiny town, with his husband josh and their 3 dogs and 2 cats. his poetry is a personal journey. he reaches for things close and far, trying to give them life: growing up gay; having mental health issues; a journey into his childhood; the world that surrounds us. he writes to be alive, to learn and to grow. he loves imagery, metaphor, simile, abstract language, sounds, when one word can drift you into another direction. he loves playing with vocabulary, creating texture and emotions. he has published 2 books and 5 chapbooks published and forthcoming: [books]: trainride elsewhere (august 2016) from Pressed Wafer; stranger in the attic of clouds (tba) from dead man's press inc; [chapbooks]: that moan like a saxophone (december 2016) from kindle; ampersand (march 2018) from Plan B Press; a child growing wild inside the mothering womb (june 2020) from ghost city press; i saw god cooking children / paint their bones (oct 2020) from blood pudding press; to wash all the pretty things off my skin (sept 2021) from ethel zine & micro-press. he has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
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