poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Night Spreads Stars


Beskin’s calf got out last night,
so young he swings a baby pink umbilical cord
and sometimes he crumples to the ground, legs wobbly
yet trying to escape. The stink of freedom
is a warm blanket of smoke that protects us from the stars.
Earth rests low in the belly of the universe.
If Beskin’s calf can make it to the road, he will leap
from one side to the other, because the middle is mud
and even a newborn can intuit that sink. The baby cow leaps
into the dreams of the townspeople. Your mama is so fat,
begins a scowling man in one dream
while the lovely ice cream of home calls another dreamer to half-wakefulness
and the window keeps night out there.
The small cow wobbles through our dreams on new legs
and we don’t notice. Lay down in my dream, baby cow
and I will wrap us both in a blanket of smoke
and we can Sputnik around the Earth together—
that satellite is my other self—but now the little cow
wants to go
back to his mother.  
The night spreads his cry over the heads of the dreaming town.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bathroom Wall

Drinking saltwater and woodsmoke in April in Vermont
where you live life according to your favorite tee-shirt motto,

didn’t realize how drunk I was until I started walking up the stars.
Adding vertebrae is the only way to keep my head above the water.

Sometimes I can grow those inches, but other times I must buy them.
The bluegreen yearning from my tailbone tastes like saltwater,

feels like the cold slap of a whale’s tail. The yearning
always smells like shit (I just want you to be proud of me)

when you get too close. That’s why boys never try hard,
or if they do try, they lie about it. Boys love to tell girls

how easy it all is. So easy. Click-click
go the vertebrae in beats of two, never three. Growing taller

is something other people notice. Most people don’t see the water.
It takes whales to make people see the water. Nevermind

that they sing songs about it all day. Boys tell girls purplegreen lies:
You are almost as pretty as these sandwiches, he said.

There is another way, in case adding vertebrae isn’t an option.
You’re almost as sweet as this cookie, I told him.

I’m going to the food court. I want a judge and jury. At the very least
I want a burrito. I want the sandwiches found guilty.

The chewy baguette of consciousness plus the snap of green apple
all smoothed over with brie, he said. I’ve been reading

what they write on the bathroom walls too much
trying to see sandwiches in it. Bathroom walls are not what they used to be.

Now everyone uses the internet for that shit.
Added five vertebrae yesterday just to breathe. Both feet on the deck

of the boat today. Hold on to the railing. Watch the other girls float.
It’s only that giraffe girl that keeps building her neck

and not floating like the rest of us, they say. Breasts
are basically life vests. When the whales come up and tip us

we’ll see how good you are at staying afloat.
You’ll want to climb my long neck then, I said.

The soul lives in the stomach.
Et tu, Brute? said the stomach to the sandwich. And you?

I just want a burrito
and a sweet song.