Three Poems//Holly Salvatore
Last month you saw Marilyn Monroe riding sidesaddle on a bicycle. Her cream colored skirt billowing as she passed you by. You noticed she had aged. She was gray and lined but still beautiful.
Last week you saw Tupac walking to work. He clocked in a few minutes early and kept his head down. During the lunch break he talked to you about settling down and starting a family. He used the word “suburb” and you almost gagged.
Yesterday you adopted a dog who had been hit by a car. You gave her a name and a yard and a bed and grain free kibble. She’s fine now. She doesn’t even seem to notice her stitches. She sits on the porch and barks at squirrels while you fold clean clothes.
Today you realize you have learned to raise the dead. But only so they don’t remember themselves. Only so they have no recollection of who they were before. Only so their lives are blank boards.
You are afraid of your newfound powers, but with Mars in your house you will learn some control.
“Don’t bring back your mother,” you repeat like a mantra.
You won’t feel restraint until the 21st.
1. My mother is a rabbit.
She ate thistle and it pricked
right through her intestines on the
way down. I butchered her, gently,
exactly like a chicken.
2. I braised her in a stock pot with
a mustard sauce. Her meat fell
off the bone and into hand-rolled
pasta. I didn’t eat her; I loved her too much.
3. Sprinkled with herbs in her greenery she looked
peaceful though. And someone found nourishment
in that body not much different than my own.
I didn’t cry. I only adjusted my seasoning.
4. I’m still not sure what it means to be human except to have a moral compass and no ability to turn it off.
Pretend that you are a snake
Pretend that the ground you slither on is live coals,
the lilacs are in bloom,
and there is an old woman after you with a shovel
Pretend the coals burn you, belly down,
and the old woman’s rusted shovel finds the back of your neck
like a blade
Pretend the lilacs are the last thing you see
as your head is severed
Pretend the coals cremate you more or less instantly
You can be reborn a bird
if you burn all the heaviness
out of you and you can fly away
You can be reborn with legs and feet to skip across the coals
and you can dance quickly so you never even feel their heat
And when the lilacs bloom
in May on Helen and Constantine’s feast day
you can wear them as a crown
Holly Salvatore is a Werewolf with a heart of gold. She gets along best with dogs and other nocturnal creatures. During the day she pretends to be a chef and sometimes wears pants (sometimes not though). Pants are for squares. She tweets at @HollySalvatorem.