I pour champagne in Batman’s cup and think if Hell’s an endless subway system which car will I be in? Who will save space for the bubbly-laced, the mothers who wine & dine action figures in hopes of never being replaced? My son thinks it’s tea, but this is make-believe, so poof all his superheroes drink 80 proof. A scarlet cemetery of Solo cups between us, make no mistake, this is how we honor Jesus, water to wine just like the Bible teaches. Yet it’s not holy I want him to see, but the nightblush of my cheeks, three deep, Etta wilting on a stereo breeze…this is what it takes for me to love my body: a goblet of brut berried jazz, speakers moan-soft, rhythm-mad. Yes, I drink. It means I never flinch when a man touches me, means I never shy the licorice thick of my kiss and wince when a man’s lips brush these. Isn’t that a gift? To show my son what it means to live outside the lines rape lit? To lay ladder where once maze slipped? Son! I am only brave half-sunk in this sapphire wave, but you, heedless of God and His subway crypt, must make my gin-gummed face your compass, must captain this haze: my drool your flag, my eyes our only exit.
Confessions of a Basiphobic
Conjure: A well I have never seen but always feel. A girl in the earth dark. A cordless call from my mother. Weave with me from my mother’s ninety-nine cent lipstick to the mud dip where the girl traces the dirt shine of her bracelet. I can’t explain why this story about a well and a girl that tripped in it sticks like resin to my conscious, why I’ve begged my mom a million times to repeat this. Who can overestimate what it means to be separate and safe? To be mud warm in a well’s vein as your dolls and dinner arrive by chain? I admit, I could be just another moon-mad Plath-sad average brand of basic bitch, wanting to be saved, wanting to look up and see God hauling so much lace he could rope me out of an earthquake. But there she is—the coal mine canary of this page, pulling us awake—what if she went wild with the wing babble? what if night drilled her into a new shape? Maybe her fall was about hiding beneath the gravel, about having a silt-cut circle slit her a space.
Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Los Angeles Review, Mud Season Review, Salamander, Pithead Chapel and New Delta Review, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at https://aed16e.wixsite.com/alexadoranpoet.