Bio: Laura Fairgrieve lives in New York. She received her MFA from Adelphi University. She is a winner of the 2016 Poets & Writers Amy Award. Her poems appear in the anthology Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism published by O/R Books. Her work has appeared in Arkana Magazine, Sublunary Review, Mortar Magazine, Underwater New York, Inscape Magazine, Ink in Thirds, and The Bitchin' Kitsch, among others.
Valkyries sit and weave entrails into winter mittens and their hearts are berries whose blood is still and quiet The stave church arches its back it looks like its fingertips are reaching faraway shaking themselves out and pushing the sky wider A little girl wears a cape made of blueberry skins and thorns she moves slowly so as not to prick herself she plucks at her bracelet wondering who pulled the sky down around her and why she cannot touch the blueness of it all of the berries are turning into ravens, black and inside out Roll yourself into a tunnel and wait for the sound of footsteps look at the library's vaulted ceiling and wonder if it is meant to keep something inside to hold it captive or make room for it to breathe unloose your mother’s calluses from your own hands and feel how soft the air can be But keep your feet battering rams teach them how to run on darkness how to carve wind into rib-bones Somewhere a helmet has fallen off and no one will notice until it is too late Somewhere someone is wondering if they are hearing bees in the bushes or drones overhead Somewhere you are letting all the water slip out of your body until your skin learns to marshal dust into limbs silence into sureness and nightmares into knitting cloth
a water tower, or warof the worlds outside the gentle purr of the newson grandma’s tvor the murmured conferenceof house spiders in the corners does it matter whythe sky unzips its mouthand let(s) its castles leak out below, or is it just another reason to avert our eyesand wait for the bludgeon of dreams to fall
Night before the Apocalypse
Promise to keep the darkness velvetand I will wait for my fingers to turninto moths and skitter awaytowards the anticipation of light Remind me that my veins are tightropesand I will listen for shadows to shaketheir secrets from the ceiling and braidmy hair into a pasha knotHold the sky still and keep it from splitting on memy hair is full of treeblood and smog When the moon drinks the rain andswallows the birds from their nestscrack open my ribs and wait for a stormI won’t feel clean untilthe rabbits scream and the worst is done.
Jezebel paints her face
Married and far away from homeshe brings what relics she can a mirror, a soft brush, a charm and a statue, a god to talk to when the rest of the world goes quietwhen she needs someone to trust when the mute dogs howl dead airthrough all the days of her decisions while the windows weave her pictures of colorful doom she kneels before her godshe whispers into his stone ear she is a priestess, she pulls down the pretenders surrounding her then she paints her face to smile at her murder she greets it all with her arms full of purpose like stalks of ruby sage purpose like tumbling statueslike the ground rising up to salute a falling objectlike a line along her brow When the gods throw up their armsand silent howls rolls in on the breezeshe does not veil her voice, noJezebel paints her face so that at the end of it all, she can recognize herself