Poetry Suite by Fleta Vincent

Editor Sam Preminger, Poetry, March 25th, 2019

"all / the tears / and horror / turned into / surreal black / laughter"

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Poetry by Fleta Vincent

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To Health

This then
is for your death
and mine.
My brother
is dead
I know it
in the way he stares
mindlessly
into white.
Space surrounds
his existence.
This then,
my sister,
is for your stone
patience, your suffering
that never was raised
into anything
of Abraham’s.
This then
my love
is for all
the tears
and horror
turned into
surreal black
laughter.

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Fatherless Father

My father never spread
his skirt over me, and
my cold skin shivered
to see the shelter
of his wings held
close to his side.

I scavenged

to satisfy the insatiable –
my need
to be a princess,
cherished and adored,
in the kingdom
of my father.

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Damsel

To be a damsel was my dream,
so I kept stuffing you, husband,
into armor that never fit right.
In my dreams, you bought
the perfect dwelling, balancing
the budget of our lives, but
numbers and situations
never add up right.

I never get to be
rescued. I open rectangular envelopes
with reluctant hands
dreading the figures I don’t understand,
insured with impossible deductibles
on maintenance of people and appliances
on last legs and prayers, hoping to solve
life’s mysteries and imperfections.

The path is dark, searching for a savior’s
hands while both knees fall
for guidance to lead sons
into manhood and all of its alien aspects,
I fall into ditches where there is no husband
to help pick me up, and when I arise
I apologize to God for what I will
say in spite of the fear of Him
striking me down with lightning,
like Eli’s sons when I tell Him
that the armor don’t fit Him right
neither.

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Intimate Rites

His face is a cold white moon
that looks down in matte
around my revolutions where
I have returned to earth –
ashes awaiting the feel
of disembodied hands,
disjointed rituals.
Submission is my oblation
in exchange for the brevity
of one unholy kiss
on each side of my neck.
I seek to stay the beginning
of skin traveling in recoil
from the reception of grunts
and sighs that creak missionary
style and his temporary
need that will end with the last
spasm issued until he deflates,
pads out like a cat
to wash and erase the smell
of my existence.
His return to is a hibernation
that begins with his granite
face turned toward the cave’s wall
while my timid hand crosses the distance
between us – the delicacy of a butterfly
searching for the sound
of his affection if it awakens,
even when sleep always
overtakes me,
my faithful lover.

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Header image courtesy of Jay Riggio. To view his artist feature, go here.

Fleta Vincent’s work has been published in Black Magnolias, Catalyst: A Magazine of Heart and Mind, Cottonwood, The Raven’s Perch, and Chantwood Magazine. Her work has also appeared in Ancient Paths Online, The Voices Project, Miller’s Pond, Bloodletters, and Voice of Eve. She is a native of Georgia and has a passion for writing poetry.

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Sam Preminger

Sam Preminger is a Portland-based poet. Their work has appeared throughout various publications and they hold an MFA from Pacific University.