Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 4



A Place Will Kill You

C. LeClaire

Leaving no one to blame
But the jokers pissing at the curb
A place will water hell
& pawn the blooms
Your Father will think
What a good deal
Your Mother will smirk
& set the table
You will prefer hard candy
New shoes or a slick penny
Something with a hard bottom
An offering of unscarred color
A place will kill you
Whistle a machete into your back
Teach you salsa & jumpstyle
What is a block party without a girl
To lose something in the alley
What is a birthday without days
Of hunger to follow
A place will sharpen itself
Produce a fever that ricochets
A bridge to leave you bloody
The ribbon it chooses
Will restore or strangle
But never fade
A place will kill you
Jail your fitful becoming
Silence your unruliness
Be it the sweet grime of the city
Or the hollow shaft of the plains
The lonely highway
Making an enemy out of thunder
Each hungry bolt rending your dress
Into A wolf’s whine
The wind a proper coffin
For the girl you toss aside
A place will kill you
Leaving nothing to sink
Your lovely teeth into
But the dying distance
& the wish to belong
Everywhere you’ve never been



C. LeClaire: "I am a Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Finalist & alum of VONA Voices & Winter Tangerine workshops. My poems have been featured in the short film Dear Nina, Chorus: A Literary Mixtape, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, & Inside The Bell Jar. Find me @onceuponapoet."




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