Three Poems—Izzy Peroni

don’t go (home)

ribbon lightning laced around your brain stem
pulled taught to your sinew

the way the camera picks up the shadows in your voice
the gaps between the strikes, rain-scented
bed sheets blue or grey overexposure

the way the ceiling fan air smells after you’re done crying
the way the blanket can’t stay over both ankles at once, the way
your back hurts when you curl up
and your brain stem aches
the same

laces pulled undone sneaker holes
the storm won’t roll in but your skin is wet, the ribbons
are nothing more than camera effects
but your spine rolls like clouds anyway

i wash’d thy face

(in conversation with “The Author to Her Book” by Anne Bradstreet)

what pain to afflict on a thought-offspring,
an ill-form’d kiddo in raggs to be dissected without anesthesia, what
blood to draw from deep-set veins that continue to be missed and
missed by nurse untrained. what to make of so much Irksome, so
much blemishes blemishes the spot the spot i leave on my child,
birthmark or cigarette-butt scar.
what can a misformed critter do to satiate its parent, to be
allowed into the light without shriveling up in God’s sun,
God’s eyes, to be allowed to be bleached and pressed between flat
iron and smoothed. what pain to afflict on paper skinned babe, that
cannot be stretched to meet the feet
lest its new skin be shredded and blistered. what middle is met
to prevent pain. what unfathered thought-offspring can be loved by
more than mother. you tell me, kiddo. you tell me how to
wash thy face and not peel your cheek like candle wax. how do i
crimp and crop you until your mindless tufts frame your little
face like your poor mother wants them to. how do i mother a thought
without pulling it apart.


I’m only awake because you want me to be
              Because my gums bleed faster in my sleep
              Everywhere I knew a greyed out switch in the settings
              Perfect till the last                     drop

Of paint, and I shift from foot to foot
Black matte nail polish in tin can cuts on peachy fingertips
Just below the skin un-deep
              Wondering how many of these people             care      that they could             kill
              Me, but I’m awake anyway

I can’t stand still. I’ve got holes in my fingers.
I’m treading two steps from dead all the time
              All the time loving and waiting
              Hating, and waiting and bleeding                    but breathing

Izzy Peroni is the book review editor of The Sock Drawer Literary Magazine. A poet and fiction writer, she comes from an entirely inconsequential town in Central Pennsylvania, where she currently resides until the world opens back up again. Her passions include Elizabeth Bishop, cats, and horror movies. She is forcefully bisexual, and lovingly queer.

photo by Allef Vinicius (via unsplash)