Saturday, April 1, 2023

Selected Works, Soleil Yakita

Absent Father 

Pocketed, whisked away—absent, Father, 
You were suddenly an ensnared creature 
Blank eyes blazing with animal terror 
Gasping, gargling, against the biting steel. 
As the compass needle knows North, Father, 
A great agonal force stirred within you, 
A gnashing, sweeping, unceasing machine 
Indiscriminate, wholly unseeing. 
And later in the yellow dim, Father, 
When moon-pale skin shone mercifully breathless, 
My lips brushed a cool form like a statue 
And sensed the dead air; the emptiness. 

cleansing, mending 

Today my pen is a paintbrush 
cradled in the sleight of my hand. 
It no longer chokes and sputters 
on yesterday’s noxious thoughts. 
I do not wield it as a dagger, 
carving red into my journal. 
Today words unspool in gold ribbons 
from the lithe movements of my wrist. 
Gentle, dancing loops fill the page: 
raspberry jam. . . warm marmalade. . . 
Sleepy-eyed autumn. . . silk sunsets. . . 
today my pen rests. 


Under the rev’rent hush of the pre-dawn morning, 
the muted whistle of the witching-hour train 
trails in a sleek silver streak through the blue darkness; 
the station awaits in cool adularescence. 

A magic is dream-caught, webbed through the quietude: 
one secret among passengers and observer 
each of us guarded and snuggled comfortably 
against the velvet night’s lust’rous underbelly. 


Today my body a bloodied gash 
against the faded paisley of my bedsheets— 
pit-marked by the half-moon digs of my nails, 
I weep scab-fluid like a bark-stripped tree. 
I murmur to myself, little blue lies 
just askew from the pulsing vein of truth: 
deoxygenated capillaries 
that bitter my mouth like underripe fruit. 
But a sleek algal film clings to my skin, 
in guarded seclusion it flourishes; 
I revel in the slick cocoon of grime 
with no promise of metamorphosis. 
Yet soon I must shed this warm shroud of filth,  
and beneath it seek some semblance of self. 


In rev’rent prayer and on my tired knees, 
I suckle Death’s slender, icy fingers. 

I lick them until my lips fall numb, 
And my stomach curdles with hot acid. 

Until my mouth tastes of bitter-black ash, 
My jaw slack and my restless mind placid. 

sonnet no. 2 

Do whisper gentle things against my lips,  
that which would fracture, burst, in open air;  
Sweet Nothings—stolen, golden spheres of bliss, 
that float between us fragile, warm and bare. 

Caress my skin with faint and feather touch, 
as rushing breezes rustle flaxen grain; 
Do drench me in a wash of scarlet blush, 
as sunlit forests blaze with amber rain. 

Beneath my circling rings of ribcage reach,  
and press your palmprint flush against my heart; 
Its silken form do gently cup and squeeze, 
to choke the pulse then feel it hard restart. 

Do whisper hidden words into my ear,  
Sweet Nothings lustrous, tender, soft and dear. 

grey matter 

a brooding lethargy like victorian rot: 
all plague masks and posies, corpses and consumption 

words trail soot on the walls, thoughts stain with putrid grease; 
tongue tastes food as if spoonfed from the ashtray 

fine, gritty granules like gravel, sediment, and 
misguided sentiments, unspoken resentments 

swiftly accumulate like thick glacial refuse 
in the warm crannies flush against the optic nerve 

and down the curving corridors within each bone: 
pebbles crowd like teeth in the carnal catacomb 

Soleil is a recent transfer and undergraduate Creative Writing student at Stockton University, and she has just begun to familiarize herself with the local literary community. She works as a library assistant, English tutor, and (unofficial) printer repairwoman at Atlantic Cape Community College. Soleil is also a clarinetist in the Atlantic POPs Community Band, where she can happily immerse herself in wordless rhythm for a few hours each week. She is just beginning to send work out for publication. 

Soleil's poem, grey matter, was originally published online via A Thin Slice of Anxiety:

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