Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 2



Lana Bella


I'm Never Yet Here

Someone diagnosed me as grief-strong.
In December, the heart spread like
crater, long and concave, holding dark
to my house of dust. The drought in
the lungs anchored down the ribs,
emptying into blood and bones with
my hunger, until I knew how to touch
myself the way that scourged winter
from bridal moon. Lodestars reached for
me across the space all easy like pale
slimming, flirting my yard of graves
while I tracked moths in handfuls of grass,
and so great the devastation telescoping
at the edges of dawn-break that the feet of
homecoming walked me far and away.




As I See Now I Could Have

sailed an ache where red incense
puddled in a bowl, like hollow-
ribbed prayers for the dead.
Blunt weight was two brief hands,
I keel-hauled black sea out of
the china for a wash where I’ll soon
bend over against the grey, blank
wall. Yet the only claim I had on me
was memory, of waterlogged body
contrived to undo flesh, of fingertips
flicked avers anent the crystalling
mist of pocking shadows. But
for a while, I composed tears in
which I went wading, as if I, too,
was expecting a less variation of life
to show up, wounding my way out
like starlings in the language of water.




Obsolescence

Pretend she's not standing here in
a doorway, hurting like someone,
somewhere, had loved her long ago.
Outside, dark toys obsolescence
hoeing the hard grief of street,
bringing up shadows shaped from
stones on the far side of space.
How quick death? How soon thirst?
Reaching down from the stairs,
she is ice all over; pale fist chafes
the rounded flesh as a memory
splints itself to her plane shudders,
because it’s the simplest thing
undoing her, always wending, ever
towards her skin’s bluish petals.


Lana Bella: "A four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net & Bettering American Poetry nominee, I am an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), have had poetry and fiction featured with over 450 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, EVENT, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rock and Sling, The Stillwater Review, & Whiskey Island, among others, and work appear in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3.

"I reside in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where I am a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps."




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