Lauren Turner wrote the chapbook "We're Not Going to Do Better Next Time" (Knife Fork Book, 2018). Her writing appears, or is forthcoming, in Arc Magazine, Minola Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Carte Blanche, Bad Nudes, Geist, and elsewhere. She lives in Montréal, Québec on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people.

2 poems by Lauren Turner

CAN I STILL BE AN EMERGING FEMALE WRITER

IF I DON'T KNOW TAROT?


A prick I used to fuck, on Instagram

accuses baby poetesses of birthing a nebulous sea

of garter tattoos, so-called bandwagon witches

 

who quit delivering him invites to boudoir séances,

where we askew lunar cycles by skipping coins

off a Brontë sister's eyelids. It's one laugh

 

best performed with a stark, naked mouth

and frilly knickers. Wrongdoings owned up to no one

when the familiars strayed back to being strays,

 

jaws sick of being muzzled with spidery letters.

The RSVPs went rogue, keeping dance cards blank.

You know how witches love to dance

 

ringed by crystals on every surface. It’s a healing

we can't snort, but hold with such tender reverence

all the same. It's open season on the Occult

 

unless we levitate a door off its hinges for an asshole

and his bouquet of incense. Can't you just cum in

the way everyone else does? Excuse us

 

for harboring our white rhinoed magic. We like

what we like and warned our coven about Merlins

who barter mentorship for mattress tricks.

 

SHE FOUND ME TAKING PHOTOS OF THE SNAILS

AND WONDERED WHY I WAS SO INTO BEING DOWN

 

 

Hearses slunk across our eyesight like black cats

before the doctors foresaw my lungs' collapsing. I never trusted omens

 

until P— awoke with a serpent. It was severed under the bed's foot

as her lover walked back into myth. That sort of bite kills, but I’d never tell

 

my friend's story when she could write it herself.

Most of my women are writers. We nurse each other's stories, fusing hurt

 

spines with amber sap. Weakness is a jewel to prey upon. Our armor, forged

over wine and sparse meals. Another poet is collapsing

 

gossip into art. She wants my testimony on an abuser we all know.

I can’t slice open this man's saved face

 

while backing up my other women to the hilt. There’s only one knife:

aiming to bleed means I play pinfinger

 

between unknown hearts. When you're a woman

in love with your friends, the scent you offer the hunt is your own.