Wrinkle-free Keys

A pod of mermaids murdered my dreams,
chopped my hair, the milkweed seeds inhabiting there
let go and went.

Diligently iron out wrinkled keys, you can’t get in anywhere.

I knock again, with all the bones, so Here knocks back.
Hell, what are knuckles at this hour if not
red-stained prayer beads.

No more doors. Many forking paths of crushed shell,
some shrubbery, off-key wind chimes.

Be loud, be still, you may be lost a long spell,
did not the sun and moon say, finishing the other’s
sentence, or cutting it off.

Though often outside of one’s control, it doesn’t hurt
to be dappled or penumbral. As I dip my toe
in the lemon light, and learn.

Now’s when I climb out on a limb in my Sunday best.
Shut out of tinted thick-glass windows like throat lozenges,
I suck on stares that would have me shrink-wrapped.

Brooke Larson holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, and is currently a PhD student in Poetry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her poems and essays have recently appeared in The Offbeat, Foothill, Gravel, The Swamp, and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and she was runner-up for the 2017 Tennessee Williams Poetry Prize. Often she runs away to teach primitive survival skills as a wilderness guide in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

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