Two Poems – Angelique Palmer

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Kakorrhaphiophobia

Kakorrhaphiophobia-\ˌkak-ə-ˌraf-ē-ə-ˈfō-bē-ə\ n. 	1. abnormal fear of failure
                                                        2. The reason I have to believe in me. 
                                                        3. A novena for this poet


To the 17th false start, 		Amen

To the string of inky blood,		Amen

To the parchment, sacrificing itself to a loopy midnight destiny. 			
                                        Amen.
				
The chased boy, the parking lot star, 
the embrace, the tears 		Amen.
				
The wave on my feet at Jensen Beach, 
the words that they birthed, 
the way they’re a prayer now
			Now.
				
To the glitter in Will’s smile, the only thing of his I still see in my sleep
			Now.
					Amen.

To being replaced, three times now. 
To being replaced, three times now. 
To being replaced, three times now.
To being irreplaceable, right now.
		Now
					Amen.
When everything was perfect, 
I couldn’t breathe.
When everything was moving, 
I couldn’t grieve.
Now. Now. Now.
Midnight sacrifice on a loop.
Midnight’s my face 
now
Ain’t nobody to carry on my back 
now
just me and the truth
and the way I am will be the story, won’t it?

She stick the landing?
What was the score?




Rituals 

When you left,
I bought a box of wine glasses from the Walmart.
Twenty-four piece set, just stem thin and pretty.
Clear as a motive. Fat as a tear drop.

I lit a fire. I am not sure why. 
I think I saw it in a movie.

I unboxed them; the chiding scrape as they released from the corrugated cardboard.
A subtle cry of their protection,
stripped away. These are the most fragile things.

I washed them by hand, looking out at the fire 
as it gained power; more climb 
and orange with the setting sun. 
I dried those glasses by hand too, 
until I saw myself 
in each one.
Brought them out on a tray.

They 
walked, arms up into my hammer, 
singing their benign twerps 
at me, like psalms. The rolling pin 
made them shiver, tingle for my mercy.
I had none left. 
And with the crunching of my big, bad bat, 
the last of the army fell to my rage. 
This is the same way I took 
your beer bottles,
the wine collection, 
your computer monitor.
Everything saw me god and damnation by the light of that October fire.
A fecund fuck you in sunglass goggles with a MTV soundtrack.

Every lie I tell myself about you
is made to break like that.
The fragile things that beat the fire, 
the way I saw 
myself 
in each one.
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About Angelique Palmer


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