“Awkward Positions” By Su Zi

bell                  candle

mirror              camera

and thus, we offer ourselves

to the full and rising moon

mmmn(in scorpio perhaps)

or the potent noon

mmmnlisten long

mmmnto the supersonic songs of insects

mmmnto the mockingbird’s anthology of extinct species

it’s the season of blooms

mmmmmmmnof fingers in the soil

mmmmmmmnof naked skin.

let us find stillness

mmmnin this first wave of heat

breathe            through


there’s only a moment when no human noise

reveals a single bee in a saw-toothed pattern of searching.

open your trousers and show your belly to the sky.

our skin and hers


mmmnfor we are of her

mmmmmmmnwhether hoof or hands

even in our illness.

our illness

mmmnof poisoned waters

mmmmmmmnand the agonized bodies at our feet.

our illness

mmmnis our rapaciousness

mmmnwe eat and eat and breed and breed and

mmmmmmmnkill the last tribes

mmmmmmmnof the open spaces.

yet, a zinnia will bloom wild and pink,

mmmnnativized from a distant season’s seed.

in our illness,

mmmnlet us not pluck the last of mother’s beauties,

but witness the one day of the yellow lily’s flower

mmmna lesson in layers of three

mmmnbending to the breath from the horizon,

mmmnshe offers herself widely,

mmmmmmmnher pistil is erect and



mmmmmmmnin supplication perhaps,

mmmmmmmnbut there is no one to hear her but her sister,

mmmmmmmnfor her kind there is only miles of silence.

the marsh hawk is still hopeful, however;

mmmna few dun doves remain huddled in despair

mmmnover the dearth of seeds

mmmnor the punishing heat.

we ought to apologize

mmmnto the rest of the planet

mmmmmmmnfor our kind

mmmmmmmnfor our islands of concrete

mmmmmmmnour injections of poison

mmmmmmmnour bloodlust.

we grind our flesh against each other

mmmnand groan,

mmmnoozing a toxic sheen

but we ought to apologize

to our mother

for all our transgressions

now and as

our illness hastens this wide death.

shall we raise our gaze and witness the noon

mmmnor the moon

and draw a breath

mmmnthat tastes of fire

mmmnour fire

mmmnthe flames of our illness

our useless tears

unable to stand

mmmnwe wait

mmmnwe wait for the hummingbird to drink the hibiscus

mmmnthe clouds to ride past

mmmna full chest of air

but, alas,

we have cut the trees

we are on our knees

mmmnin saw-toothed searching for

where we ought to have sung glad glory crowned

mmmnin a living halo of butterflies

but we are on our knees

mmmnin illness

mmmmmmmnunable to rise

mmmmmmmnunable to breathe

mmmmmmmmmmmithe metal burdened sky

we are on our knees,


mmmnby our own hand

mmmmmmmnour mouths at the soil as our skin burns,

mmmmmmmnin saw-toothed  searching

for breath

for breath

mmmnwe are sorry,


mmmnwe have killed you and

mmmnthose of you

mmmnand ourselves.

Su Zi is a poet/writer and artist/printmaker and edits, designs, and constructs the eco-feminist poetry chapbook series Red MarePublications include poetry, essays, stories and reviews that date back to pre-cyber publishing, including when Exquisite Corpse was a vertical print publication, and a few editions of New American Writing. More recent publications include Red Fez, Alien Buddha, and Thrice. A resident of the Ocala National Forest, with a dedicated commitment to providing a safe feeding respite for wild birds, and for a haphazard gardening practice that serves as life models for all aspects of her work.


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