Lies to Tell the Body: poems by Alyse Bensel. Number 2 in Volume Six of our limited-edition Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series. Available this August.
Cover image: vintage quilting cotton. Series design by Ron Mohring.
Published: August 1, 2018 [49 copies]
ALYSE BENSEL’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Pleiades, South Dakota Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbooks Not of Their Own Making (dancing girl press) and Shift (Plan B Press). She is an Assistant Professor of English at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.
and the dead, too. Women on painkillers.
Over two years the paramedics covered
two bodies with white sheets and ferried
them across front lawns. My neighbor
slept through her half-feral dogs escaping
between rotten fence slats. My husband
stomped like a monster to keep them
at bay before they tore around the block.
When she finally woke up, she carried
a bag of dog food to the sidewalk, shaking
it and begging for their return. The family
at the end of the block vanished, leaving
the yard littered with cans, barbeque tools,
a broken plastic bike, the skeleton of a baby
carriage. Satellites huddled in the corner lot
were unable to search for any signal. It was
like that when you disappeared—I kept
hitting send only to receive planetary silence.