Coming to Terms with my Belly Snake
I saw a man pulling a deer inside-out yesterday.
I turn myself inside-out pretty often as well. In fact, I did it yesterday too: reached a tentacle down my throat, deep in the wet guts and yanked it, awful hard – came up bloody, green, scarified, guttural – then ran down the street shrieking – stop hounding me, everybody! Stopped for a cigarette on the curb, not caring wtf u think – hopped a bus, a freight, a jet, a Greenpeace vessel and was last seen heading under-dressed for the arctic (think monokini, flip-flops) – I once quipped: her heart was as fleeting as the polar bears existence; seems that was taken too serious. Earlier years: scrap-booked a life in seashells and starfish – smashed clocks with a ball-peen – chewed through thumb-drives and clipped toenails – banged to Pink Floyd and belted opera to Nirvana – Fantasia, trippin’ on shrooms – under black light back in ‘92. Later years: slow crawl in a woman’s larynx, uninvited, I give chase – stop scaring the others! – all the happy, blithe, ant-hill people. This destruction is only meant to be therapeutic for the walking wounded, the initiated… Now: why do you keep fighting, she asks me. I reply, I hold due the tragedy of imagining, and I am too scared to surrender.
My poem’s at the bottom of the page. It’s the one to the right of the Mexican Invisible and to the left of the Queer Trigger. Sits directly above the Depressed Democrat, who keeps hollering, I voted for Hillary, did you? My poem is self-conscious, verbose and eternally on Weight Watchers. It’s embarrassed of its comma use and knows the dashes can be very overbearing. My poem longs to date M. Editor, the one who isn’t mainstream either; who is fantastically flawed, with skin layered over beauty words. My poem is not about moons, but would love to learn of such mystery.
My poem has a potty mouth, bends toward hell and wanted to be Molly Ringwald. Or Ally Sheedy. It wanted to date Judd Nelson, then marry Andrew McCarthy. But it’s had to accept middle-aged anonymity, cheaper cheese and pink wine. It’s tenderly aware; it’s no Demi Moore.
My poem has learned to be ok with what it’s given: grey hair & pear hips (more becoming than we seem). And it has had to learn the hard way: people live lonely, and hearts are starving everywhere.
Elisabeth Horan is a poet, mother, student and teacher from Vermont, who enjoys working with horses and spending time with her two young sons. Elisabeth has poems published at Quail Bell Magazine, The Occulum, and Algebra of Owls among other fine journals. She is currently writing a chapbook of sonnets about abuse in collaboration with Kristin Garth entitled “Pensacola Girls”. She teaches English at River Valley Community College. Find her online at ejfhoran.weebly.com or on Twitter.