I love a needled sleep,
an escape from dread regret
and the blood-stink of my cuts.
I want to spill beneath the light,
the wrench and stab of daily wounds
through an underwater blur
for a fleeting lull from living.
I, a pan faced woman,
know not to scare the horses,
never grew the protective scaffolding.
On a scrap of paper
from a gift never given,
I write to you of my seven hells and hollowing dark,
my words, poisonous if swallowed.
Now you and I
crouch on the frayed edges of each other’s lives.
My name is desolation
and I, twisting into ever sadder knots,
search for connections and find no path,
while death is incremental
and hope—a useless thing.
The nurse crashed the pleated curtain round my bed.
She was emotionally unavailable
and because of that, I liked her.
The backlit x-ray revealed I was constipated
because I had unwittingly eaten my psychiatrist.
“I should’ve had bigger cramps,” I mused.
Still, I feel awful about the psychiatrist,
a guy named Guy.
I think I should send flowers.
Does the Morning Have Gold in its Mouth
It’s only 5 AM but I lie here still
pulling at the fog of my dreams
up to my chin, my ears,
to choke off the chill of spilling out of sleep.
The cellophanes of gardens I devised,
problems I solved,
humiliations I faced in the night
piece together to collage a faded counterpane.
Left in a fugue,
a cobweb of not seeing,
my anguish haunts my ticking thoughts
as yawning air fills the room and sighs into the hall.
Julie Wenglinski moved from St. Louis to Titusville, Florida, in 1964 because her father worked for the space program. Although her degree is in biology, she paid her debt to society by working 30 years in IT and now resides in Richmond, VA. She writes about struggle and humor, the meaning of things or the lack of meaning, the arbitrary, the absurd. She has been published in Masque & Spectacle, Nonbinary Review, Inflectionist Review, The Switchgrass Review, and Unmasked Anthology. Her poem “What is Left” was nominated by Parentheses for the Sundress Publications Best of the Net 2016.