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TWO POEMS by Carly Joy Miller

girls gone vile

gone ballerine              ribbon splintered on the block            already bruised body

                                      in sweet crossing

time to cut in                                                                             cut in with my dollface

                                      lashes spoiled-heroine black

my mouth owed                                                                        at least belle du jour

trinket me                     my wryneck stalky limbs                     hair in constant pirouette

                                      I can’t let the brat down

the brat ligatures                                                                       the brat pasternacks

                                      the brat formerly known

as brickish house                                                                       for my stray fingers

the brat spitdried         so nothing falls out                              kind of like hunger

                                      just keep biting down

down on the plank                                                                    even with your pinky toe

                                      now drown

 

 

APPRENTICE

The butcher breaks me open,
says bones are sticks for flesh.

Early I knew. I broke my sister’s arm
the night of her third birthday. Happy

I was in my oblivion, so cushioned
in my sleep. That’s when he wrestled me

out to the barn five miles west.
The neon stamped my eyes.

There: bleating lamb. There:
hands lassoed in the leather.

There: he hatchets ribs until the meat
is the size of my fist. Perfect portion.

He keeps at it. I keep at it.
My country says abundance

in its red drenched coat
and I grab my share and some

I consume and some I spit
to frankenstein the animal

for a feast. And how I’ve grown
so nervy and ugly and full.

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About Carly Joy Miller

Carly Joy Miller
Carly Joy Miller's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Third Coast, Blackbird, Linebreak,Vinyl Poetry, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart and was a finalist for the Stadler Fellowship. She is the assistant managing editor for The Los Angeles Review, a contributing editor for Poetry International, and a founding editor of Locked Horn Press.