melissa christine goodrum

four ages

one sateen red eyes
a red bonnet

two green eyes
spring black hat
near pink bow
one boot

three yellow heads
snip a hook nose
fall the womanly breast

four humpbacks
under black eyes
and a purple cape

the night in St. Cloud

no eyes have
the cherry red
light of a cigarette
from a top hat
shadowed in the corner
near a window
where the boat
on the Seine
lights its own
rouge heat

an inheritance

the child’s chest
is dotted red
and the holding mother
folds her handkerchief closed
& nearer her chapping
mouth, embroidered
her cheeks flush
the skirt twitches
coughs, decorated
with wan black ladybugs
or festering flea whores

onto the child
she bleeds
see this mother needling,
hemming round sateen red
up and down
she hacks
onto her bed
and her hands
and into the mouth
of this newborn.

Lisa Jarnot / melissa christine goodrum / L. Sze / Michael Whalen / Matt Reeck / Drew Baughman / Napoleon Id / Britni Jackson / Nicole Steinberg / Kelly Matthews / V.L. Bond / Ed Go / Katy Resch / Chip Livingston