Coughing up Sparks

Three poems
by Anna Girgenti
Life is Like a Jar of Olives
Standing in the kitchen
at 2:38 a.m.
I open the olive jar,
scoop out the best-looking one and
My jaw cracks on
sharp surprise—
Now I am older and I choose
the olives
feel them in my hand,
hollow or whole
sink my teeth in
with slow
The Wold and I
The wolf meets me every Sunday
under a lamp post,
we take off our shoes and
run across this
abandoned city.
He undresses me,
“animals don’t wear clothes.”
I wrap myself around his
wasteland soul.
The wolf holds a knife to my throat.
I shave his fur to kiss his scars.
Monday morning I wake
to find these
bruises spilled on my milk white skin
these bruises
swirl under a thin ice
hidden galaxy—
windows to the universe inside of me.
but no,
dreams don’t leave
marks like
Last night,
the wolf picked me up in his mouth
and carried me to the highest rooftop.
I am foaming at all openings, I swear
I am
awake now.
When you love a dirty thing
he eats you from the inside out, Child
he will show you
what you taste like.
Burnt Out
There’s a light switch in my mouth
that you can flip with your tongue
You used to
do that
all the time
to make my body glow
against the heavens,
since you left
the switch is broken
in the night I
run my tongue over
the inside of my cheek
and blow a fuse
somewhere within my transparent
I cough up sparks on my pillow,
gasping at the
shards of a light bulb
caught in my
Anna Girgenti is a 19-year-old sophomore at Saint Louis University in Missouri.

Published by


Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott is a member of The Southern Collective Experience; he also serves as an editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, The Peregrine Muse, and Novelmasters.

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