Susan Tepper: Four Poems

Alpine Nuts

Don’t miss me
too much

reaching inside
the broom closet
to wipe up the mess

Mop’s not there—
no cleaning powder

No soft presence
lingering from my shampoo

The one you said was
Alpine nuts
good enough to eat

snuggling your nose
in my tangles.



Write it blank

you instruct me
in matters
of blood and rust

there is that
around the drain
you feel menaced by—

only rust—
I keep telling you. 



you wake up
don’t feel rain cutting
holes in your face
notice the pillow
is blackened from night
is stiff, a smoking gun.
All that’s gone wrong
measures sleep in numbers
—violence has answers
despite, you say.


The last balcony— and bells
you kept climbing
velvet stairs, the handrail
soft from entrails
roping the distance:
stretch of fields
a full-blown womb
almost overnight,
pale sun, snake eyes,
girls emerging out of women
breaking open
the long silent history.


(Featured Photo by Laura Bruno)

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