"To Become Quagmire," "On This Side of Inside," and "Gin, Sex and Poetry"
To Become Quagmire
It hurt like sickness, this hunger to bleat words
under water, patinaed with the fleshed snake.
Moss sailed from fluted hands, you neared
the surface giving up to wetland, an invisible
spore that gripped itself on firm belly of prickly
bush. Pastured your thirst beside still waters,
you put down new seeds for propagation,
spilling gills once dark as night across grass,
hurting for light. Slick with silage things
puzzled through the backwoods night, you ran
aground where the earth wincing rut that
groaned wild, toward a bubbled murk of lives.
Giving a last once over the splendors of
this architecture, you hitched a ride on the tear-
drop of a black bug-fly, reached for wisps
of horizon as your tentacles pulsed then drifted.
On This Side of Inside
On this side of inside, I can't see
the rush of water with light turned
low. Bones made of glass held in
ruches like desert carillon, supine
glide on legato lake. Downstream,
earnest lips of plant life fluted with
neon fuzz, easing over the torsos
stiff of upthrust rocks, the likeness
all out of innocuous thorns frozen
in mud. Then at once, I gave pale
breaths to water moths on the wild
of curiosity, startling the ghosting
into bristled charge of variables,
whimpered up in a gather of flakes.
Gin, Sex and Poetry
All of me eased to the floor, brought in
the autumn of gin, sex and poetry.
With tapestry of dime cigars, I grew
through darkness then back to
sunlight, licking threats of all things
more. Here, down the stairs to
my thirst curing in three swallows,
I shrugged air with fingers of mostly
ash, flicking avers from weight of
nasty bother. Then I sat and waited
on the tips of my tongue, wearing space
like matches in a tomb, coughing
back long arms of sheath dress while
another dark closed in. To ache, but
didn’t, I plied borders from the crotches
of strangers, whose bones turned soft
and milky in my universe made silent
as if I were the shepherd, they the sheep.
A four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net, & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 500 journals, Acentos Review, Barzakh, EVENT, The Fortnightly Review, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rock & Sling, The Stillwater Review, Sundress Publications, & Whiskey Island, among others, and Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.