Two Poems by David Hanlon

Adult, Unborn

My body, my mind     churn:
cauldron of night,
holes punched
where stars should be.
If I’m being honest with myself,
I’m never okay.

Chaos— I know well,
friend turned lover
            wringing out
survival                     my skin, wrung
until I shrivel
into the curl of a November leaf,
to an embryonic state:
enwombing my world.

I grip this life’s lining,
a child grasping
the bottom of his mother’s floating dress,
          hands busy,
                        just out of reach.

Home, Arrested

Walls—bare winter trees;
ceiling, slanted—overhead landslide;
tan wardrobe, ivory chest-of
open doors, open drawers—
beseeching garments.
I’ve occupied
this attic bedroom for three weeks:
left boxes, unemptied;
picture frames, stacked;
bedside tables—a cluttered bric-a-brac,
spreading plague.

In school, I learned to live
on peripheries.
For any movement or inflection change
I might stand trial,
whipped before the verdict.
Always, I pled guilty,
scrutinized and
fixed my expressiveness into rigidity—a statue—
to secure imprisonment,
self-sentencing to stop
the lacerating.

Even now, dancing alone in this room,
it’s as if at least one person watches.
as if at least one person judges.
The body—our first abode.
I’m always ready to leave
as soon as I move in.

David Hanlon @DavidHanlon13 is a confessional poet from Cardiff, Wales, now living in Bristol, England. He is a Best of the Net nominee. You can find his work online in over 40 online magazines. His first chapbook Spectrum of Flight is available for purchase now at Animal Heart Press.

Banner Art: Stations of the Age, a drawing by Robert Frede Kenter

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