Four Poems for Haunted Passages: Violet Mitchell

You Buried Me Right Where I Belong

baby i               watch you watch me destroy myself baby i      am static
ending gray starting     gray
                                    i watch you watch me sleep w eyes closed we sleep
                                    in dead leaves  |          i decay along w my precision

there are          tangles in my armpit hair sweaty coupling w my bluish revolution
there are          paint there are paintings there are stains under me my skin in this place called map

honey i             am like some kind of cosmological miracle i                am turning blue am turning
my favorite color i       am beginning a new place        in myself

& when i pour you                   into the earth you carve
out a new place to rest too

th(e) body is ink in th(e) (e)arth

u fit in m lik a small univrs ur hands thir own suns and ur frckls small
plants with rings i am trying to dcid if u ar mor lik a bird or a prayr i
was afraid of th paradis u’d offr so i hoppd to th nxt univrs with no u
n no birds n no prayrs

//

i wok up in lov with a past slf n as i watrd th hydrangas in lat
aftrnoon light i saw a myth of myslf my fac in th ptals purpling darkr
in th shadows i knlt in th mud dug with my palms gulpd up ths holy
dirt n askd my ptal-slf how much m was burid hr

//

i lookd at vry sml thngs n now i am a vry sml thng a smal untruth i
am unmattr in a thin voic i untrac (e) my sml slf i am dirt i am a thng
tht dsnt moov unwild unpray unsigh i rvrs i dcmps i unfind n i drnk
my ptals

Climate

1.
give us what we know we have everything
2.
we inhale despite knowing nothing and we want nothing
3.
to do with smoke we make or machines we
4.
breathe since there is nothing else to do
5.
the only true escape would be starry space
6.
a bright vacuum empty romantic
7.
sprouting with danger a place we have built doors
8.
roofs to separate us from its science the bravest
9.
of us left with the sun god returned with his ash
10.
to become one with its womb with the earth what
11.
stillness does to the body the roots a foot can grow
12.
we may never understand standing without
13.
weeds sprouting through our toes

The Ghost-World

i spill all over the floor my gender splots like a red wine          (its stubborn, too)
i lve in a house i call the woods i like to look at dirt                 imagine diffrnt colors

i took my water n my nevers                said i’d paint yu                        like a spill
                                                                                    like something yu were thinking about

i like to peer into drk places n call thm wet cavrns
                                                                                                (i said that on
purpose i know what yr thinking abt
now i know what wet means to yu
what body yu take)

find twigs on the ground n name them aftr my grandmthers                i look at that space btwn yr
teeth n want to take it away yu tk the roses growing under       my arms          
(but yu could
keep yurs)

i cant hold anything anymore all i can do is peer n judge n be abve                 i wanna ask yu when
yu bcme this nw thing how yu dcidd to walk arnd how yu                knew no one cld see

yu usd to tke things witht even touching them its this human              cndton to nest in a place to tke
lungs n skirts n eyes n arms n hats n wter                               
(yu took my
never yu took
my carbon)

i fnd a smll tooth tday could not trn it in my palm to exmne                the cvity i only ished
to see that smll shdwd hle to dg int it n feel                                         smthng crmbl undr me

Violet Mitchell is a Denver-based writer and artist. They earned a B.A S. in cognitive literary studies and are completing an MFA degree in creative writing poetry, both from Regis University. Their work has been published in Heavy Feather Review, Word for Word, Kind Writers, South Broadway Ghost Society, and several other journals. They received the Robert A. O’Sullivan, S.J. Memorial Award for Excellence in Writing in 2019.

Image: gardenbeast.com

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