the blue baby
on the sands of Italy
the mother on the floor
I’m the one who changed—
plucked the fruit
made love to a snake.
Sold my body
absorbed poison in the factory
hid in the desert for days.
I look in the mirror
can’t make a living
I’m Sarah laughing at God.
The virgin who birthed kings.
I hold a small hand
spread butter and jam
stuff freezer full of meat.
I’ve seen ovaries eaten—
breast sliced open.
I’m the one who bleeds.
There are mornings I cry
others I sing—
I’m rye rising in the kitchen
drinking the sunlight and the yeast.
That You’d Disappear
I was thinking you’d never know your son
has your lisp when the radio announced bombs
dropped on a mosque.
The lost tang of your American Spirits
drifting through the vents.
God, you tasted good. What made me
come back that last time?
You threw my phone in poison oak—
and I walked Empire Grade with the night.
My hands never felt so small. Today, I lied.
Told him—there are snakes in that hole.
He didn’t want to hear it, but stayed away.
I wish I knew what was true. Our son doesn’t know
he has a dad. Only I exist
and the memories we hold in a box
under the bed. How sad that we sleep off the past,
sadder still that we can’t protect
those in prayer. Remember the last time?
He was only three months old. You returned
from Chumash Casino reeking of IPA
and organic cigarettes. I begged God,
one more wish.
Kathryn de Lancellotti is currently completing her MFA in Poetry at Sierra Nevada College. She has a degree in Literature with a Creative Writing concentration from University of California Santa Cruz and is a former recipient of the Cowell Press Poetry Prize and the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Press Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, Porter Gulch Review, Chinquapin, Red Wheelbarrow and others. Kathryn resides in a cottage on the beach in Cayucos, California with her son, Jade.