Two Poems


maybe i can
teach myself how to
say big things in small,
soft ways
like the fur of a lion
silky and all too real
i want there to be no mincing words 
and the lion to speak for me
so that fullness can be
the fullness
of everything

i’m tired of living in the microcosm
all of this here is macro
if you are asking me 
if i want to be a lion
then yes— 
we could stare electric into each other 
when we meet in the forest
i could sharpen my teeth on your holiness
if you are asking me 
if i want to be God
then yes— 
but bigger than God because then
no one would doubt my existence 
it would speak for whatever this is

i could make words that make 
people that make things 
and i wouldn’t have to study
Gandhi or listen to public radio
to know the truth
or miss the heart of life
on my newsfeed

i’d touch that sweet melancholy of
being every day
the one where you want to dig in your heels
but the floor is made of milk 
and the milk is made of music
and the music is time
that runs on gravity
and the gravity keeps pushing you
until eventually you are muck
and spitting up weeds and you
are saying no, gravity, no 

i don’t want that
but also—
aren’t you beautiful, gravity?
aren’t you a miracle?
and isn’t your face
the most awe-inspiring face?

You look like your dog just died

my neighbor swallowed
her dog whole 
after 3 tear-stained days
she ate him straight
without water

he didn’t make it 
past her ribcage
the dog now hugs her
diaphragm 24/7

her dad is in there too
swallowed 7 years earlier

she has both of them now
facing each other
looking after her heart

what if I don’t have room 
when your time comes
too full of everyone else’s
hopes and dreams 
burning my throat 

or maybe I’ll be too hungry
swallow too fast

accidentally drink your bones 
like a glass of water
that passes right through 
and drains out when I pee

or maybe I’ll forget 
what’s possible 
will lose all 
understanding of the word
comfort or freedom

maybe whatever’s left 
of you will whisper 
keep swallowing 
hoping never to say 

BARBARA JOY BEATUS-VEGH is a writer and artist. She lives on Long Island where she helps run a girls’ empowerment nonprofit.

ISSN: 1533 2063