The Lost Decade and Others

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A few poems from Lindsay C. Lightfoot's collection. The last two poems are about a pregnancy and miscarriage. Lindsay C. Lightfoot recently published a new book of short fiction titled "Looking For: Intimate Confessions From People Wanting Sex, Love, Friendship, or Something Else."

Lindsay C. Lightfoot's New Book of Literary Erotica

 

The Lost Decade

 

During the lost decade, I ate salads inside coffee shops

which no longer exist, their walls covered

with flyers and graffiti, floors barely swept.

I was singular and afraid, stalked and abandoned,

scribbling notes in the margins

of textbooks which always led me to books

I would rather read and ideas of love

that meant the world to me.  Crumbs scattered

from day old scones and muffins.

It didn’t matter that I lived on so little,

that I woke up in the bushes outside of a hospital,

that whole nights were erased

week after week, that I bound myself

up in sheets, sweating, praying for rescue

from my apartment or from a strangers. 

I knew that the dark sidewalks

led nowhere, that the stylish man standing

in the doorway would talk to me,

but I would bow my head,

burdened by the cacophony of voices

begging me to pay attention,

to watch out

 

Embryonic

There is no certainty

only a stash of deleterious pills and herbs stashed in the forbidden drawer,

only a racing heart like a rainstorm at night that blows tree limbs into my yard.

I don’t have any control,

other than to breathe, breathe,

let it all in, the world,

images, a new beginning,

a boon, a bump, indigestion, hope,

or another ending.

 

I don’t have a premonition of my future

or my child’s future, only languid afternoons

and layered evenings when I think of how slowly

the world moved in New Orleans, and I miss

stopping for a cappuccino in San Francisco

and hearing Buon giorno  flow effortlessly

from the mouth of a young man lost

in the connective webs of his dreams.

 

My lover tells me he doesn’t know the future either

but holds my hand and touches my back part of the night.

The next day, he looks at me like a five year old

from behind a thick blue curtain,

frightened of the emotional landscape his mother created,

Budweiser bottles strewn across the table.

 

I need comfort from my fear,

and he only gives me more uncertainty

and a few prayers.

 

Growth is Rapid in the Year of the Horse and In the Sixth Week of Pregnancy

My body is submerged in a sea

of swirling, dizzying water.

I can’t breathe, but I must

have learned to breathe something besides air

because I survive the stairs,

I survive the sun, I climb and feel

like I’m falling upwards and downwards

at the same time.

The neural tube is closing along the back,

and the heart is beginning to beat.

Every new adventure begins with a struggle.

 

Every new century is uncertain,

desperate,

wildly alive.

In the distance

I hear the pounding hooves

of chestnut colored mustangs

hungry for nothing

but their freedom.

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