Shamala Gallagher

Reality

Last season
of

heat

the first

roach I

had seen




darted and

waved

its

tendrils.

It moved like

the unbelievable

onset of

chance.

With the

brilliant grace

of what

dares to

scamper

out

in plain

sight




and stand
there










*


In the
rare

night

kneeling

on the

road

side,

head

freshened

with

blood













strange
voices shouting


for
help












*


I thought

I was

my real

self,










nothing owed
anymore









the thin

daily cloth

finally

torn
























Want Stop

Night: night is a white wine,
want spurts in teeth,
want is long breaking open.

Aging we watch our hands.
Sun catches them slow
in year-fire. Who

do I call much.
Put the call to my teeth
Put a small horn
to my teeth of calling.

White wine the death-drink
says no one again.
We’ll alter your aching
saying. Make what fasts open.

Make glee of needles.
Make slink and mutter
in the farthest year’s

Grass stage. Tie twigs
long to the night burden.
Suture and dazzle.

Want seeps into lateness.
You hold your teeth
Fast in wonder and
Look how it goes.

Look it all goes
Losing and night-frail.

Who will now pour coffee
at the door of hungers
now that you notice your
absence. What wanders

too much. Stars late
on the heat meadow. Who
names the heat-season’s

start. White wine drench
day-canvas no more.
Who frames the season.
Door of the years
slipping closed.



























Early Interior

Absent
morning,

I have been tangled
alone all
night in
sheets while
the dogs
rush from room
to room in black
rootless
haste

I have listened
so long
through
their jumbled
nightsounds
for your even, human
step
that would
make the house
new

Now and
then when they
toss their bodies
forward
the thought
of change
jolts in me

But still I am
lying here asking
the black to
drain from the window
as if you could
drain the black
from a spoiled peach until
again the gold juice
aches for itself
only




























Shamala Gallagher is the author of a chapbook, I Learned the Language of Barbs and Sparks No One Spoke (dancing girl press, 2015), and her writing has appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review, The Offing, VOLT, and elsewhere. She's also a Kundiman fellow and a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers. Currently, she's in the PhD program in Athens, GA.