Daughter Bird Bone Song 2. and 3. |
by Michele Pizarro Harman


The calendar photo reveals green grass, blue sky, and many pieces of floating white bread in the foreground. Now that he's inside an aerosol can, he can easily be packed. They call their keno machine shark face, because inside the ball are two arms shaped like fins. The sidewalks are looping and thin and cut through the air like freeways; my father is king here. I taste test from the pitcher of anise and later run down the halls crying help. One weapon is a large metal arm painted into a suit sleeve. It will follow him home, since it didn't yet get his money, and I go to the wedding held in a doughnut shop wondering why the groom's in full drag. The mother offers a plate of confections: one is large and smooth like a goose egg; one is covered in noodles and long like a tube; one is rolled in powdered sugar; all the sweets breathe deeply as in sleep; I pull a noodle off one, and it flinches and rolls over: the joy of free coastal waters, she says from the other room. He lays the baby into Tupperware, closing it over with four different lids; I fear he's suffocated it, but its eyes are wide when we reopen the dish.


Rushed and awkward and not at all like Christmas. The fighting takes such a long time. Blot up this blood's pool. Genes. Five demons inside! One of the girls in white gloves, and my character's lines have all been translated into playing cards and dice. I throw a handful of salt into the ocean. People incessantly climb ladders behind me. Suitcases filled with dust and a black high-backed chair as for tarot. Two boys begin their drowning. Cobwebs drop in sheets. I must go now. I ascend too quickly, while my stomach opens like a soft purse, and piles and piles of makeup tubes roll out in plastic, zippered bags. Killed by baby dolphin bites. A force throws me against the room's walls, though I remain uninjured by turning myself half into ghost. Grandma bounces up and down in a short, frilly dress. The electricity which runs Christmas, he explains. Black smoke clouds fill the room.
With undergraduate and graduate degrees in English literature and creative writing, poetry, from UCLA and UF, Gainesville, Michele Pizarro Harman has published poems in such literary journals and online venues as Quarterly West, The Antioch Review, Mississippi Mud, Midwest Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Sycamore Review, Berry Blue Haiku, Shepherd’s Check, a handful of stones, The Commonline Journal, and Miriam’s Well. She currently lives with her husband and two of their four children in the small town in Central California where she and her husband grew up; beyond the cows, crows and cranes, she teaches reading, writing, and math to K-6 special-needs students in a public elementary school. She also may be found at: www.michelepizarroharman.com.