SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL (i – iv) Poems by Lyn Lifshin.

SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL ALMOST SUICIDAL
 
how it glazes,
seals what’s a stain
in like dirt under poly
so each foot print upstairs
glides over scars. The
cold drifts, makes a
maze of walks, tunnels
where knives could be
pointed like icicles over
the door way. No ballet
dancer with electric
pointed shoes, or a tutu
of fleece could warm
her. So slippery, her ankle
snaps while in the night
diesel trucks collide
with over turned 12
wheelers under her hair,
their undersides twitching
in smoke like zapped wasps
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
gerrymandering what’s slippery into space she can’t
avoid, every part of her’s a junkie going
cold turkey, starved for heat. She shakes, a
blue spreads over her. She dreams
of bougainvillea, gardenia, figs. White’s
the color bandages, diapers, feet of the dead.
She wants jades, tourmalines, sapphires, rubies
jags of flame and teal, a gypsy swirl, castanets.
No more colorless dirge of snow burying, disguising,
but heat, a jungle rain where skin smells like
skin and locusts hum toward dawn, a gladiolus
wind, thighs luminous as bones dipped in
tinsel and glitter
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
fangs of ice, too cold
for even blues to breathe.
White suffocates, a town
buried behind her wrists.
Roofs collapse, cars under
mounds like bodies the
ground was too hard to dig
into left on battlefields.
Ice crystals freeze in the air,
a halo of edges, a tilt to one
side, a falling into the daze,
into the flare of light as
glass splatters, could
blind her for good
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
possibilities, freeze dried,
zapped, trapped like crystals
poisonous as HIV virus twisted
to a halo. She moves and it
moves with her, a too heavy
cologne heavy as guilt. Ease,
already frayed, freezes in the
shape of splinters. She feels
that brittle, feels herself running
toward a fire only her feet are
glued to glass. She’s a spun glass
rose bud vase in the car for days
hot water is poured into and
she cracks
 
SNOW MAKES THE MAD GIRL SUICIDAL
 
isolates, a moat of
colorlessness, barb
wire of ice. She tried
to pull from the house
of cold, but the cold
seers, burns where
she’s pressed. Scars.
The snow terrifies.
Where she stands,
too slippery to hold
her and the roof’s
about to bury her in
bed, catch her screams
like lips in lava

 
 
GROLIER BOOK STORE, CAMBRIDGE MASS
 
 
Lyn Lifshin has published over 140 books and chapbooks and edited three anthologies of women’s writing including Tangled Vines that stayed in print 20 years. She has several books from Black Sparrow books. Her web site, www.lynlifshin.com shows the variety of her work from the equine books, The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness to recent books about dance: Ballroom, Knife Edge and Absinthe: The Tango Poems. Other new books include For the Roses, poems for Joni Mitchell, All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl goes Into The Woods; Malala, Tangled as the Alphabet: The Istanbul Poems. Also just out: Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle; Malala and Luminous Women: Enheducanna, Scheherazade and Nefertiti. web site: www.lynlifshin.com
 
 
 
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