LIFELONG

Nobody special,
nothing to see here,
only ordinary reformed into art, 

myself in your eyes, 
following your observations, 
understood in poems I didn’t write, 
seen and see-through in decades passing, 

my deepest form traced out
with a pencil whose eraser
is lost to time. 

 

 

By Heidi Turner

DIGITAL

We were sure
we were good for each other
and the blame lies in the photos now: 
the way you are so clearly comfortable
occupying a frame that contains me, 
the last vestige of us that pops up
near Christmas, an alternate universe
that only exists as a spark
in the hard drive. 

 

 

By Heidi Turner

AMERICA

Strawberry Chapstick tastes like the Midwest
mixed with the body heat of the middle seat:

the same record playing over again,
high harmony, high melody, low violin;

I drift in and out of consciousness,
the taste of my own lips foreign
as America.

                                            

By Heidi Turner

MAGIC

The trouble with magic
is that it looks like sleight-of-hand, 
the way it weaves a tapestry
in the space between genius and madness; 
that it is imperceptible when the spell
is at its strongest, that music never-ending
is only audible when silence (impossibly) falls. 

 

By Heidi Turner

HOUSEHOLD LION

Once or twice
The Lion of Judah disguised Himself
as a housecat
to remind me that shattered lamps
and shredded plants
don’t stop the sun from shining,
that minor fires
do not constitute an emergency;
an open door,
held until He stays or leaves,
will finally let
the quiet Breath of wind
get inside. 

 

                

By Heidi Turner

WEEKEND

We could form a music group
or craft empty-glass metaphors,
build analogies out of playing cards,
understand the narrative we cannot exit.

We could throw rocks into the ocean
and question the nature of our liquid planet.

We could lose ourselves in panic
or slay the monsters in the labyrinth,
we could say yes to the high road
and regret the strength that carries us,

Or, windblown wishes of the past, we could say
nothing at all, do nothing but hold hands.

 

 

By Heidi Turner

DAYDREAMS

Rain falls daily, still unexpected
in my home town, into open
windows, slanting in through doors;
it rises from between kitchen tiles, floods
the empty spaces within myself,
left as they are—dusty shelves
that used to hold daydreams long evaporated
in the moonlight
and wind.

 

By Heidi Turner

YOU ARE

You’re at the edge of every story I write,
in the lines even I can’t understand,
you are the song I sing to myself
that whispers that silence alone rings true,
and you are the edge of the story itself,
the blade that could cut me in two,
I know you are the melody of my overture,
the word I haven’t learned to speak,
the pages turning after the reader is through.

 

By Heidi Turner

FAITH RECIPE

Crush it together, that feeling of apathy
with the fear of unknowns,
sweet wisps of remembered magic
floating above the water and oil
let questions rise, covered in sleepless night linen,
evening after evening, until the bitter herbs
dissolve beneath your tongue,
until the warmth of the fire is forgotten
in its very constancy, and place your hopes
into the open black mouth of the heat,
you’ll know it when you smell it:
the honey-flavored scrolls
we write in the ritual abandoning of ourselves.                                   

 

By Heidi Turner

THE ACADEMIC OCEAN

If I was to filter the sea
and sell the salt as knowledge
in its purest form,
the tide would still keep rolling
and the rocks below would show—
and yet here I am, picking out
bits of sand that stick to history
and creating my own replacements
in the great sterilization of the world. 

 

By Heidi Turner

A VERY SERIOUS POEM

In the corner of the afterlife where poets gather,
Emily Dickinson has started a petition
to have me thrown under a carriage: in due time
poor Keats will be forced to point out
that carriages are hard to come by on this side;
Eliot is amused but entirely unimpressed
at the little references I make to him
and everyone else—the format itself is foreign, uncouth—
and of course, poor Poe is left to wonder
what great crimes the stars conducted in what far away wars
to be commemorated in at least a quarter of my work,
and no one, especially the ladies, knows where Billy went. 

 

By Heidi Turner

INSPIRATION

Lady Justice weighing laughter
and popcorn on scales built
for questions monumental,
photoed moments out-of-focus
that somehow captured the warmth
of sleeves in mid-summer,
the coughdrop wrappers
Hansel-and-Gretel’d from my bed
to my car and back again,
Jupiter approaching, soundless. 

 

By Heidi Turner

FLIRTING

The line between dancing and walking
where you, my Potential, is concerned
is thin and thinning – music plays
(or does it?) and the rhythm of life
slides between and around us,
laps against the shore of my story;
the lines we strike in the first measures
will be defined if, at some point,
I turn (twirl) swiftly toward you,
if one of these days you reach for my hand.

 

By Heidi Turner