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Five Poems, by Erika Bojnowski


Let it all fade in: glass shard glitter, far-flung nebulae— nerves twisting themselves into a phone cord. dark blooms, a croaking branch laments— a dove call breaks it in half. The mind is one million sardines held down by a fishing net. crescendo, crimson. stone-kick, fist-clench. the tremor of a morning voice. The dead leave peonies on your doorstep, and you awake to something that seems to breathe forever.

don’t ask why ask how ask what ask where

How many breaths did you take before walking into a room of unwavering? does sentence finishers does explosive does nothing feel miniscule? the depth of this uprightness: crepuscular cigarettes that populate your Hubble Deep Space Field. Does this story bore you? does it dredge the landscape in a flour-white robe, compounding tension in a highball glass— or a globe with falling bone-chips? what sort of fractal ambivalence keeps you here? what solar rage sends photons through your body— where do those melodrama mixtapes lead? do they swirl into far-sighted sketches, the ceiling of your room momentarily unfamiliar in a haze of astral dreaming? I think I lost the world of it, or the earth just moved an eighth of a millimeter.

universe, encased.

brick-cold. the golden window rushes into unspectacled blur: a musty air of pinecone dust and salt-toothed wind. vicious water echo, stilt-walk. steam rises around the loose mumble of a dragon or the same every day grey, every day. in silken corridors, where bated light spills and shadows peer from ominous: perilous, paramount— a mountain of diaphanous light. what word would be your mountain? what singe of refraction coats every edge? a spired metaphor, a sleep splinter.


I am attempting to pluck electric each bloodless, sharkskin cloud. to find a labyrinth of glass— where the weight of your heart is compared to an ostrich feather. a sacredness that only happens where morning’s murky threads tangle indefinitely kind, are these spirits that drip from gutters. a precipice: brooded for a thousand years and cut / glinting talon— the sound of Pleiades, your somber canticle. a volcanic sneeze of cinders blacks out a movie screen with thousands of dusty capes.

blood orange

Imagine turning off— kettle-pitch extinguished, Alka-Seltzer dissipating in cloudy striations. molecules abide, stop their fervent fission. Yes, love. chain-spoke: pontificate. spine-snap: coat buttons. Bravery lives inside a voice, a brooding pier, that emerges from cotton wool— a Balke painting reproduced in crayon. Would you lie with me, in the eccentric light of chalky wings? I of the cobweb, I, a moonless tower— a tearful sparrow, a hackneyed sail. A spangled twinge changes my voice into running hooves— it would behoove you to paint blood orange, your inquiries into ominous.
  • Erika Bojnowski's work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Alt-Lit Zine, Prick of the Spindle, Suisun Valley Review, Verandah, and Transfer Magazine. She holds an MFA Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

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