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2 poems
by
Liana Woodward

Liana Woodward is a poet from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her MFA from the University of Montana and served as a poetry editor for CutBank literary magazine. Her work has appeared in The West Review and elsewhere.

Deli Poem

I crave a labor that isn’t
gross / clean vocation not slick
with the grease of wailing
blades / a living that doesn’t weigh
dead & heavy like turkey chubs in my blue
glove hands / I make money cutting
uncured ham by the half pound / turning out
juices on the metal table
I swear / I don’t always want
to be reminded I’m made of meat
/ I’m songs, too / diligent tracks portioned
in wax / stored in a hopeful freezer
/ in the fat cap of my teenage body // brutal
pleasure I wager to sell / boring violent
for the cash / like Buzz Aldrin post moon
making meager tips of the whole
galaxy // just a slice of a life
spent on corned beef / oily
hours shrunken in plastic
wrap / many ends to trash/hours
too many to ask / to untether
my daytime from any cheap shift

I Get Religious in Spring

something like ruffled devotion
         to window slats & sunlight flashing lazy in domino patterns
Winter makes me forget                     my skin’s fondness for photons
microscopic excitement that seeps into everything
a migration to optimism like a jolt     the car isn’t crashing backward
it's just a peripheral car                   a safety rush that comes after
sick squished danger                 bring me a bowl of red cherries
for my skull’s refrigerator
it's popular now to know good feelings
by their chemical names          serotonin like a flood             oxytocin
trespassing & making me love you         these corinthian names given
by scientists but not acknowledging the divine deal
blue skies made          for the parade of flushed faces
& while it feels true all depictions of deities are related
I don’t dwell too much on which particles
God might inhabit in case
the light moves me too violently
& my soul           or whatever
                                     falls out softly onto the floor like a silk dress