—During the Parkland protests when many people knew the GOP majority would not impose gun control measures, 2018
this shivering swallows me whole / I suffer under a grand banner of fog / drear so heavy my wings ache
optimism curdles to a lactic sting / and my body / once a spiral skirt / crimps tight as a shut umbrella
my shivering pisses vitamins / little soldiers of the blood / march backwards / does no one understand their language?
how this administration / axes my brain / no thumb of relief / pressed against the throb of fear
it is stomach acid / burning my mouth / parching any words of hope
I long for the skiff of dreams / to rock me until it’s over / drop clothes walking to Buddha’s altar
three candles burn / like lanterns floating in the River Styx / lighting the way beyond invulnerability
please give me fortitude / a tortoise shell / as sun knifes the room / grief is in my feet
I would not be unassailable / but porous these days / even with those who would steal lamb from lion
and devour her / wool and gristle / speared in their teeth
Lindsey Royce earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing/Poetry and Literature from the University of Houston. Her poems have appeared in numerous periodicals, including Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts; Poet Lore; and Washington Square Review. Her first poetry collection, Bare Hands, came out in September of 2016 to strong reviews like Molly Peacock’s who called Bare Hands “a virtuoso debut.” Royce is currently Professor of English at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Copyright 2018, Lindsey Royce