Poems: Lisa Marie Basile


I inhabit his space & time as he inhabits mine.
in this story      we exist perpetual
between the sea & shores of black.
it is the story we discern as the story discerns us.
                        in this one, I am sunburned on the inside & he is the heat.
did you know? he became a believer, but not in himself.

as a child his mother took an iron to him good, strangled
him in curtain cords.            so I’m your mother now
                        give it to me good.

I make the same faces he makes, facing toward the sea,
with the sea facing back. I live between abasement
& love, the place buried as childhood is buried:
somewhere in the luster of black.

I am not like everyone else’s child. I learned early
of toil & kink: little girl bambi girl sprawl for me.
& I learned early all the men who want bambi.
            it might be that I have become bambi.
            it might be the truth,
            or not. that is up to you.

that which is coiled inside you      coils inside me:
the coastline & epistle, my holy father and
the body of him, and his body.

I am a gradient of you now,
in the shape of grail and grass.

From “X”

How do you hold it all inside you?

Every day, buying milk
and velvet for chair backs
and staying holy quiet with the
desire to fuck something
that doesn’t exist

The swelling in me,
            I could burst a bag of blood oranges in the street.

I don’t believe in god
            But there is a dissonance in memory,
rerouting the necro to bloom
of my fingers. Your death sits
            in the middle of me shuddering.

You would say take it,
            and I would take it            ghastly echo,
and we could make light
inside the vaccuum of space
that is the body

which is nothing at all
            in the end and nothing
at all from the start
Lisa Marie Basile is the author of APOCRYPHAL, along with two chapbooks, Andalucia (Poetry Society of NY) and War/lock (Hyacinth Girl Press, February, 2015). She is the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and her poetry and other work can be seen in PANK, the Tin House blog, Coldfront, The Nervous Breakdown, The Huffington Post, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center and the Ampersand Review, among others. Lisa Marie Basile was the visiting poet at Westfield High School and New York University, and she was a visiting writer at Boston’s Emerson College. She was selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler for inclusion in the Best Small Fictions 2015 anthology and will be appearing in an anthology called Best Emerging Poets. She attended The New School for her MFA.

Submit a comment