The 309 Collective

Bella Giammalvo: Two Poems

Little Bird

Tomorrow morn you will stroke his wing broken
And scoop him into a jar
Watch him rot from your bed
Into filmy spiderweb sorrows
Crawling up glass
Fogged by his last breath

Tomorrow morn you will
In salt lick agony
Because at one in the morning
It is an hour past night
And he fell asleep in your arms
And once again you are a mother
Whose child scraped his palms on the sidewalk
You tear up the concrete in revenge
But cannot kiss away his torn skin
Once again you are a mother who has failed

Tomorrow morn you will
Wake up alone
Absorbed your lover in God’s utero
Acid tongue cut his skin to lace
Like the white gasp of a cigarette’s last breath
Fire burning butterflies into cotton
We put out against the sidewalk
I quit last month
And I am hungry again


August Dreams

Last night he and I sat on a rooftop with our friends/ When I stood up to leave he began chasing after me/ And we ran through hazy hallways/ my heart in rhythm with the shallowness of my breath/ His footsteps timed along/ stomping as we tore through the narrow hallways/ I couldn’t see him but I knew who it was/ his heavy boots against the hardwood rang out like gunfire/ The ratatat of mechanical warning// And suddenly we were in the humid jungle/ and I tripped over tree roots/ dodging branches and palm leaves/ And my feet were no longer feet but cloven hooves/ galloping swiftly through mud and tear-soaked rivers/ Over rocks rainwater slick/ that yelped at the crash I made through trees and brush/ a blood moon tucking in the stars overhead/ And thundering behind me was the banging, brashing, crashing, walloping hunter/ who was not a hunter but a boy/ with a wrinkled photograph of his mother against his chest/ soon to be inked with a different child’s blood/ but not mine// For I was the girl who thrust a rifle at his chest/ stars in his eyes/ let him starve until he was hungry/ with bloodlust/ I was the girl who turned/ just as he crossed the bridge and blasted holes through the sky/ to gore him through his chest/ And I carried him with me/ skin puckered blue around a set of great antlers/ his chest and shin and eye impaled/ I knelt down by the riverbank/ his body contorted above my head/ beautiful offering/ I was only sorry for the photograph of his mother/ limp in his pocket/ with her own son’s life


This a series of writings from members of The 309 Collective, a group made up of 11 teen poets, writers, musicians & artists. Follow them on their Instagram: @the309collective

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