Back Cover Blurb
In this compelling collection of poetry by native Julie Ann Wells, such themes as loss, loneliness, guilt, jealousy, anger, sex, and 'all things female' are thoroughly expressed as the author excavates her personal life experiences for a sense of 'being
Your heart is a crowbar, your heart cracked my skull wide open
I don't remember my hand on the the door, but there it is, wide open.
We always walked the railroad tracks. We kept our pockets full.
Lanky shadows and bony feet, blisters split wide open.
I find your pieces everywhere: notes scrawled with heavy hand.
A tangled necklace, a tarnished charm. A slap with a fist wide open.
All those times I felt you, a heaviness beside me in bed
the shape of your body burned into my sheets, the eyes the mouth wide open.
Your smoke still hangs all around me. I suck it in, sweet and grateful.
Something to tide me over. I look for you. I leave my window wide open.
When I Was a Woman
When I was a dancer, my feet painted tracks on the floorboards
When I was a beggar, I made my lips plump and juicy
When I was a mother, my body was warm holy Eucharist
When I was a sister, a switchblade cooled in my pocket
When I was a painter, I slept feverish and never alone
When I was a lover, I feasted on little blue pills
When I was a fighter, I howled like a dog in the moonlight
When I was a daughter, my knees were scraped raw and bloodied
When I was a drinker, I screamed myself hollow by morning
When I was a Catholic, I choked on the blood of the lamb
When I was a victim, I communicated only in rhymes
When I was a liar, my tongue was syrupy sweet
When I was a girl, my heart was a quivering knife wound
When I was a woman, I ate but I never felt full
To Pass an Ex-Lover in the Street
Not one word. Not even a slip of sugar-sweet tongue. Keep still
your teeth, made slick with nicotine and lies. A nod of your head
an earthquake; a wink of the eye rimmed sickish and bruised,
a knife in my back. So hold fists balled in pockets deep: no flutter
of milky hands, no sapphire threading. No flash of bloodied crescent
fingertips that once traced my body's lines against secondhand
cottons. I beg you. Turn away the inky head, its imprint lingering at
plump inner thighs: still visible to a trained, quivering eye. The throat
that throbs pulsing with blood dirtied and black; that dip in the flesh
I sank my teeth in, creamy blue. The mouth raw and swollen I took,
whole, in my own, sew it shut and move steady, please! Pass silent,
smooth vapor. My image travels through your cones and rods, fragmented,
apart and away. Tangible: to reach out and touch, to feel, just don't.