Category Archives: Pantoum

Bad Dreams

Rosary

Passed along, mother to daughter,
like a rosary of dull beads,
her bad memories haunt me after,
old fears as polished litanies.

Like a rosary of dull beads,
sweat droplets collect in wrinkles;
old fears as polished litanies
swell up in mind, hands, and ankles.

Sweat droplets collect in wrinkles:
“Some anxiety in the night.”
Swelling in mind, hands, and ankles
calls a needled calm, pale and bright.

Some anxiety in the night,
passed along, mother to daughter,
calls a needled calm, pale and bright —
bad memories. They haunt me, after.

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Cells

DISCLAIMER:
This is not a new poem, it is not part of my NaPoWriMo series. This was originally done as a collaboration with Dana Guthrie Martin over at the Poetry Collaborative, which no longer exists. It could originally be found here as the poem itself, here showing the collaborative process and discussion (which I have preserved but which is not currently online), and the combined set was here.

CELLS
by Dana Guthrie & PF Anderson

It all began with an onion skin
rolled in the palms after removal —
microscopic veil, shredded to sheer
vulnerability with a touch.

Rolled in the palms after removal,
the laundry sheds dead skin, dust to dust,
vulnerability with a touch
of misplaced affection. For what holds

the laundry’s shedding skin, dust to dust,
dissolving? My hands flip back and forth
with misplaced affection for what holds
fast inside them, admitting only

dissolving. The hands flip back and forth,
fingers work, creating compartments
fast inside them, admitting only
what moves through by force and persuasion;

fingers work, creating compartments,
viral spaces exploding with guile
what moves through by force and persuasion
can’t be named, only felt — a motion

(that viral space exploding with guile),
a microscope zeros in on what
can’t be named, only felt — a motion
like a benign tremor or stutter;

a microscope zeros in on that
stumbling heated communication.
Like a benign tremor or stutter
from movement into meaning teased out,

calipers stretch molecular strings —
microscopic veil, shredded to sheer
infinity. Between, space equals
space, that began with an onion skin.