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Placeholder, I Call Thee By Thy Name - Willow Loveday Little

I.

Axon in dendrite forest.

Look-see Over a shoulder disintegrating to gypsophila petals— Before this space, Her suspense of snow settling to salt pillar. Aarne-Thompson C330 grade boulder, perhaps? (Neither time nor place)

I can’t stop shaking. Years tracing The lorem ipsum of my sheets That fossil touch of hair on pillow Compressed then into cheek. Names feel like weight. My tongue Gives way to the hedgerow of rhyme. One epithet for all nuance of kings.

I’ll go back for that later. Leave the cramp as it is, Visualization, routine— The smell of slang, lipid duvet, insulating smile Of a friend’s teak words. The nerve, the nerve.

II.

And here, its synapse. I’m dowsing for you everywhere I go. Until the drawbridge’s myelin Snaps, frayed By the faulty wiring of a euchred sun Collapsing in its ochre setting. The rooster crows at morn. Dying’s not the fear— I won’t be a cliffside, Crumbling to chalk, cocaine, plot foil. Not twitching bulb’s palindrome Making Bell blush. Nothing but loose change Easy and thoughtless in the hand. I’m standing by a gravestone, A baize-framed placeholder For what I can’t hold.

III.

Golden bird sings in the king’s palace garden

Beyond lidded eyes I catch the dancing water In the greenest wood. If a body rejects you while you’re dreaming And no one is around to see it, Did you truly belong?

IV.

Subject-skewer, They grew you from gypsum A stone plant a statue who gave in flower One last baby’s breath. Father, I’m glitching, Bent fingers the cow with the crumpled horn. It’s a shame I’ll find it—goose girl, golden egg, The clithral heath of the idiom’s sheath. I’m afraid I saved you a seat.

V.

Who healed Cock Robin? Who healed Cock Robin? I, said the barrow With my soil marrow There were bones, a name.

VI.

For now I’ll leave it Felled across the footpath:

[Illness] Placeholder [John Smith] Placeholder [Boon] Placeholder [Description] Placeholder

VII.

I lie in a field Huffing buttercups Clad in nothing but memory And my tightest spanx. A noon placement test For how well this summer engine fits. Temporary.

VIII.

Glial cell birthed me; mother raised me. Placeholder held me peripheral till I died Little Jane Doe buried me beyond the decimal point, What a pretty bird am I

IX.

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Fare thee well.




Willow Loveday Little is a British-Canadian writer whose work has appeared in several publications; notably, The Dalhousie Review and On Spec. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and has read at Accent, the Visual Arts Centre, Argo Reading Series and McGill’s Poetry Matters. Poems published in yolk literary magazine and The Selkie’s Resiliency anthology are forthcoming.

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