I Contest My Body’s First Eviction Notice

Your notice tacked tingling to the damage
d nerves, the twist of the paper in the wind
ed way I take the stairs, the subtle swell
ing of the knees. You are disenchanted,
want me out. I confess I am a mess
y tenant, full of clumsy noise and poor
choices, my taste sometimes amiss. Pleas
e consider this: I will treat you better, but
ter your old skin, oil it back to slick, for
give your failings and doubts, our troubles twin
ing us together. Allow me to remind you
of our finer times. Yes, I will stumble,
but I sonnet gentle as a stamen. That must
be worth something. Don’t give up on me yet.


From every angle, the moon looms, a wax-eye, a silver mole.
I want to swipe it from the sky, search for the proper tool
to erase it, climb to the top of the garden gate but cannot
reach. The sun rises. Like all my endeavors, the point now moot.
Each age brings new terrors. A sonic boom outside the window
is only my heart. These are lean days, pain rattling my chest,
a shimmering bangle looped around vertebrosternal ribs.
I dream of rowing into the gloom of a still lake, the head
of a hammer slamming a slow hole into the hull. Instead
I wait for the sun to set and slip into the yard to splay
my limbs across a warp and weft of vines. Cradled by
canes and tendrils, I pretend I have lost no one, nothing,
call forth the slow moan of an oboe and sing to be reborn,
sway back and forth in this rhythm as I tangle and bloom.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of three collections from Sundress Publications, including To Everything There Is (2020). Her work has appeared in Rhino, Tinderbox Poetry, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, Waxwing, and other journals, and she serves as an associate editor for Rhino Poetry. Recently retired from 36 years in public education, she can’t wait to see what happens next. Follow her on: WEB & TWITTER