REBEKKAH LEIGH LABLUE
REBEKKAH LEIGH LABLUE
Ethogram with Cosmic Distance
after Ana Teresa Barboza
Suppose multiverse, yes. Molasses thick. —We
the diamond-crusted, kicked up
whirling in a glass of charcoal? Dropped
from the helicopter to repopulate the lake,
as fish. —Turning,
bright and frightful? Yes, but. —But?
from the subtle poet I’ve practiced to be.
—Meaning? No, I can’t help but pretend
to always have an answer. Remember
once I reached above your hatchet brow
for the Saturn-crown of radio-dead satellites
that was not there. —Mine?
Not you as in you. No,
in this narrative only in photos
you posted online. —Me? No, but
the same online where I stumbled on
a simple embroidery of a tiger
blanketed over a girl, abyss of mouth
around her throat, and said, I want you
to have me like that. —Just how?
In the third-person omniscient.
—What a thing to say. Yes,
both glamorous and truly absurd
when I’ll admit to falling over anyone
who cracks their knuckles just so
that the echo feathers into perpetuity sure
as dull olive anaphora in parallel mirrors, hellbent
out of sight. —To another universe? I think so.
and hopeful. —And the sacrifice to get there?
To make of that lovely turning
efficient search terms,
for which I wasn’t prepared.
—And now? Forgiveness,
I’m better at this than I know. All along, late
to my own party. Elsewhere early,
so what? Now is the time
to scale oneself properly with
the flat, utilitarian arm of a wishbone.
To sit here, crisscross on the rug,
while pulling back a hangnail
like a ribbon to the moon.
There are so many favors
to go around.
The Difference Between Shadow and Silhouette Is Likeness
for Jacqueline Winter Thomas
We all want a black bird but none
of its omens. We all want river blue
but none of its honesty.
What we don’t know we don’t
know but makes all the better
to grieve for.
It’s this if not that
(flattery if not hyperbole)
(guilt if not semantics)
I mean the language of silence
is one of euphemism
and what did it get me—
questioning sky’s allegiance
by the birds powdered to its collar.
Some points in a guide book.
Flint tongue, buried.
There’s a long timbered road with nobody’s name on it.
Having opened in the same light,
the songs in that wood mime each other
(both flattery and semantics)
Flat semblance, skin
O, dawn on the window
Somewhere this light slatted
becomes the dozen horizon lines
in the place where water sheds
the guarantee of sleep.
O, vanishing point
Our foremost cruelty was in leaving the parentheses
open, just so,
Why anything when snowlogged
road trodden eyes
bright for the task
of its unspoiling.
It’s that if not this
exhausted leaf folded
into a boat. Shadow
on the silt bed, cursive
meandering. The water
spoken for, paper
set to flame
The water spoken for
but here I am, ill-behaved
bridge, still speaking.
Rebekkah Leigh LaBlue is a queer poet and ornithologist pseudo-native to Asheville, North Carolina by way of Long Island. A finalist for the 2018 Split Lip Magazine Poetry Contest, her work can be found in Glass: a Journal of Poetry. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, and reads prose for The Adroit Journal.