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Elizabeth Vignali

Little House

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You are Mary and I am Laura
and Jack is our pet tornado
churning across the berm.

He twists up grass
and a murmuration of starlings.
He twists up a swarm of locusts.

We loop dirty fingers
and walk to the tracks
wait for the train
our toes nudged against the steel
like a dare.

Weather balloons float
to the surface of the sky
rising like Ma’s golden vanity cakes
and I remember suddenly the way
Ma used to iron

her hands smooth
while she waited for Pa
to walk through the door
full of sunlight and wheat dust.

But that was a long time ago
and now
inside the tornado
the birds still sing.

Lyssa Prepares for a Houseguest

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I taste of pajamas
I wear them all day
and pocket my dreams
in pinstripes for later

I smooth the brambled sheets
arrange the lover
fluff the shallows

when my laughter awakes
I comb it twice and send it off to school

I sprinkle the counter with flowers
roll out my ideology
cut it into ides

their edges lisp in the oven
I burgeon my tongue

I smile around it

at the store I fill my casket
with hamming it up
and cheesy love songs

I spring for the 2-ply philosophy
I’ll wipe my ask with explanations from now on

As Soon As I Get Them

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As soon as I get them
I give them away

This one is a fork in the road
This one breathes underwater
This one rubs my blood between his fingers

Forest of hands

This one is salt scraped from the seafloor
This one is yolk on my chin
This one broke my only ladder

In the corner
the new couple

arms around waists
heads on shoulders

Take his double tongue
Take his cracked blessings
Take his belly off my back
Take his eyes on the mirror
Take his jackpot jaw
Take his bruised box apples

I read somewhere that because electrons
have a negative charge
we can never actually touch anything

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