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.