Three Poems by Lana Bella


Snow falls from
the pale green eyes
of the pines,
but what can it see
through the frenzy
of loose innards
and blunt clippings
of entropy?

only in silence
do we give audience
to the roughhouse
that shifts our breaths
and bones into wake,
like a sequined light
who becomes alert
only to the dim terrain
through the weaving
of leopard geckos and
snow fireflies.


(Previously published in The Galway Review.)



Calico Water

Paradise lies at the skirt of calico. Like wisps of cloud
spanning across a flat sky. Drifting into small brooks
and riverbeds, riding miles on the halos of plume, wear-
ing the skin of summer crops. I watch teardrops from
the heavens break over blue masonry walls. Almost at
once a fluid motif free fall to its reservoir, in sequence
of colored glass and tropical rinsed green. Shapes turn
into a template of lakes, flowing away and back from a
whisper of the dying wind. And colors upon loose petals
press a coat of rose dye as pink fish eggs, with tips rise
and dip at the tears of water. Swarms of dots, perching
there where the ankle of lights flirt in the dream-let
pilgrimage. Life moves languidly, pale grey about the
brick rocks and moss sprouting weeds. A fluid map of
childhood games drawing the score of new breaths. This
dream of water, under the bevel of glass, tinsel acrobats
cut with jewels, curl their limbs on the bottom stones.
Brain to matter, matter to earth, earth to water, all glow
from colors of rhizomes spilling and spinning through
millions of silver lights. Waiting to die and be born.


(Previously published in Elsewhere.)




since night itself has become a kind
of blindness,
you drink as fast and as much as you can
in order to keep
from leaping off the highway platform—
lurching back,
your consciousness wrestled you forward,
and this seesawing was more unsettled than the one before,
and the one before that—
but then you would forget as you always did,
because the effort of dissolving while cleaving to
the edge of the bar stool with another drink felt
lacking and sad,
so you washed your blood down in spirits ever-presence,
again and again
like a lunatic,
wet, damned and grinning—
nothing for better, nothing for worse,
yet somehow,
you still cannot empty enough this remains of human shame
that grew heavy and crude like obsidian


(Previously published with Poetry Salzburg Review.)



A three-time Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016). She has had poetry and fiction featured with over 400 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, Expound, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rogue Agent, Word/For Word, among others, and work to appear in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.

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