2 poems

by Sarah Sgro

Sarah Sgro is the author of the full-length collection If The Future Is A Fetish (YesYes Books 2019) and the chapbook Without Them I Am Still A Mother (Letter [r] Press 2017). Sgro earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Mississippi and is pursuing her Ph.D. in English at SUNY Buffalo, where she studies waste in relation to gender and futurity. Her work appears in BOAATAnomalyCosmonauts AvenueDREGINALDThe Offing, and other journals. Find her @_sgrotesque.

"filth is not a metaphor" was shortlisted for the 2019 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Dorothea Lasky.

filth is not a metaphor

it’s a haunting it’s a dark & stinking car

 

it’s my underwear is stapled to the wall

 

yes this is transactional encounter

 

it’s transaction of the ampersand

 

my trash can is an archive which remembers every transaction

 

brown bags mean exchange except

 

when I’m displeased they mean return

 

a sweatshirt is responsible attire for the winter

 

& a metaphor for I belong to you

 

to transaction is a bad behavior

 

every filth is resurrected

 

archive is a haunting such as cork board

 

with my shriveled briefs affixed

 

in the restaurant I fill my water glass by swiveling behind me

 

that is very healthy says a woman reading

 

what I mean by healthy is convenient

 

this sounds like a metaphor but all transactions in this poem happened

 

I am striving to be literal

 

my body is a stretched material

 

metaphors leave room for ghosts & I am on the hunt

 

the sweatshirt smells fresh but I wanted it gone

 

the dark & stinking car resolves its filth at Delta Sonic Car Wash

 

bust my ghosts to manufacture nut

 

that line is haunted by a juvenile pun

 

I belong to all my ghosts but property is not a metaphor & nor is hunt

 

my attachment style is a water metaphor

 

a wave is curling water or an open hand

 

if I am filth ideally I will haunt

 

if I am shriveled by affixed it will be brief

 

a metaphor is a disturbance on the surface of a liquid

 

body breaking on the shore

don't

“don’t be scared! everything dies!”

Everything Dies! A Coloring Book About Life! by Bri Barton

don’t die / why don’t you life / was weather or not / thunder tasted like a hot drink / too much sunset is polluted / hurt purple hurt purple / don’t you / hurt like a life like a sun / don’t / be scared! everything squirms / shame out-hurts despair / shame a butter knife inside my sleeve / death a necklace made of worms / musk is filth i wanted / any other organism / ciliate or nematode / partners meaning corporation or some company / do you think a lot about death / i don’t / i think the question is contextual / whether you are soil or an urn / legless burrowed thing / can’t forget the bed the purple drink could have never shouldn’t / did / i broke the sewer now it don’t / do shit / what will squirm is words & also drainage / silence & the underground conduit / everything will lie or laid to rest / today will reproduce the sun / or won’t / musk means i’m alive enough to sweat / wake up tasting butter / wear the necklace / wake up / don’t