By: LeeAnn Olivier

I remember how much we watched
the stars in our pre-screen silence,
spotting sister sigils like Scorpius
and Taurean, bright bodies emerging f
rom the skyline. We whirled into spirals,
the songs from our lungs dark. Moon
after moon, we twisted ourselves
into eclipses, animal hearts shuttered,
our bones cages, on the hood of your old
Honda civic, candy-apple paint scraped
and blanched pink from years under
the Southern sun. Hundreds of miles
from any shoreline we needed to untangle
the sky’s mosaics. We needed to come
undone in the spaces between the rain
hours, a dirge of dappled patterns roiling
above the roller rink. We’d blot out
our roots, Cajun and Caddo, a slew
of bad fathers, furled fists and flasks
inked with cheap whiskey, until their absence
was nothing. When George W. was the worst
villain we could fathom, we’d roadtrip
to D.C. with our slapdash signs like ragged
flags, your lion’s mane growing longer
every year, shot through with red-gold
from your mother’s Irish blood. I’m almost
glad you didn’t live to see the green
world unbraided into pixels and monsters
big as quarries lumbering in broad light.

after Oshoto Rowan, A.E. Stallings, and Brandon Shane

LeeAnn Olivier, raised in Louisiana on new-wave music, horror films, and Grimm fairy tales, is a neo Southern Gothic poet. She is the author of two chapbooks: Doom Loop Wonderland (The Hunger Press, 2021) and Spindle, My Spindle (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016); and her writing has appeared in many journals, including The Missouri Review, NOVUS, and Exposed Brick Lit. She is a survivor of domestic violence, breast cancer, and an emergency liver transplant. As a writing professor at Tarrant County College, she helps students navigate their trauma through the creative arts.

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