Stand in front of a room of eyes on you
hang out one arm straight from the shoulder
and hum they are trees. Let the trees
be the lines that follow from me
Now kneel from your weakness
be tense between your eyes
murmur Oh Lord
I am not worthy but only say The Word
and I shall be healed
Against the tenderness given to The Word
it will bring the untouchable to you
say try this in the hand and surrender
Stand up and pull your arms overhead
bring them down between your breasts
Was that the taste of blood on your tongue
Are you about to fall from your feet
Fall from your feet your weakness
is showing power you don’t own
and doesn’t come to pet you but is
for which you won’t be given credit
Fall from your feet and if the pounding
of you finger tips against a chair back
breaks your hand chant. I release me
from my feet falling, from my hands
praying I am a tree. These are my arms
that hold out my breasts and chant
these are my lines to the root
To the root count three tenderized stars
planted into the bark
Take a charred finger. Plant black lines
around my eyes. And weep
And weep into your hair until your hair
weeps onto your feet you fall to
and wash your own feet with the salt
of change running into the crevices
of your feet to between your feet
to beneath your feet
Fall to your feet and take the bruised
fingers and say I shall be healed, I shall be
healed. The Word lives worth inside you
and I pick at the big toenail with dirt under
nail and flick a black line from me
Drop your tears anywhere you’d keep
your keys. I learn to write without a grid
while you form the opinions of unloving.
If there is distance it is the silence
of long yells into fear, you said.
The rapid high voice defending Saturday
it snowed and I didn’t know how
to masturbate to anyone else.
I indoctrinate me to loving the agent
that withers a flat piece of paper
to something above surface tension.
One side says I can’t
and one I think you’re afraid and we spawn
off into the midnight of February. Maybe
this is the last hand to write. Maybe
you’re waiting awake with a vice around
your heart, at dawn, when there’s no one
to convince you there’s still time for night.
Elements of Divorce
He was abusive?
I shrug into
maybe we were
just one abusive entity.
You don’t come
to the studio anymore.
I buy and sell money.
I call it a living.
I don’t pose anymore
for you. For me
I fortunately should
only own my own body.
Well I could beat you
He kept a picture of her in
his drawer long after a they.
I’m not going to make you
feel not lonely.
I’m here to make you
Editor's Note: These poems originally appeared on our old site.
Amanda Killian earned her B.A. in English and American literature at New York University and recently attended Summer Literary Seminars in Lithuania. She works (and dances) at Flyleaf Creative with amazing women in Chelsea, mostly plays in Brooklyn, and lays her head down in Crown Heights. Her poem “I tilt on women like windmills” will be featured on Everyday Genius, chosen by guest editor Mark Cugini.