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2 poems

by Dana Blatte

Dana Blatte is a sixteen year-old from Massachusetts. Her work is published or forthcoming in Fractured Lit, Rust + Moth, Gone Lawn, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and more, and has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation and the Pulitzer Center, among others. 

Double Sonnet for Salem

If we die and no one remembers us, say

          we were tragedies. Call us doll-

faced girls with lace and grief and all

          those pretty endings. We reaped

 

names wherever we found them; convulsing, spit-

          fire, dealing mercy to martyrs, little

girls with ribbons turned ribs and graves.

          Maybe this was our punishment: to bare

 

our bodies and always envy those who saved them-

          selves. Look, kindness leads to greater tragedy:

there is no one to christen girls

          forced to gather flames. We sacrificed

 

our savagery and look where it got us. Girls:

touchless, timeless, lovely, and laced-up—

 

this is what it means to be hunted, to fancy

          yourself untouched even as you run

out of fingers to count your crimes, bodies

          to bear your endings. We call ourselves

 

tragedies. Unspool our kindness time and time again

          until the fire hunts our names. We look

the same, you know, underneath

          the glamor—grief is grief is grief.

 

When we count ourselves on the pyre, it is

          not grace, not martyrdom. We sacrificed

our mercy and christened everything we stole, died

          and no one remembered to call us doll-

 

face, sorrow-eater, tragedies in every ending. Look

at our crimes—this is what it means to be a girl.

We Control the Tide

after Christina Im

& in another life i turn moongold & go paper when it storms // in another life i tongue the sky & deposit no rain // in another life my echo is a moth / less of a sun with no lighthouse // in another life your cavity bears no promises / no organs waiting to be unskinned // in another life you are still weeping a knife / & i swallowing its hilt // in another life the moths lantern my graveyard / while the water ungods us by its breath / they call that remembrance // in another life we are slipping in & out of worlds / postcelestial paper trails // in another life i am the lighthouse / & your echo warbles into mine // in another life i am carving the blade / & you are still papering the sky.