The Reality of It

satin smoothed to be bruised, eventually

like a car crash looming, sugar rush

glitter tears glass bits

snow fluff, spread

science says energy never ends –just changes form


garage sale lace discard

someone in the family owns a closet of black clothing for events such as this

twirling skirt, champagne glasses with lipstick stains

aghast, entwined in the silky mess

vase cracked, plum pits



Hard Times

“In hard times, beauty can seem frivolous—but take it away and all you’re left with is hard times.” –Paul Madonna, Everything is Its Own Reward


gray matter mush, a heart attack

the older brother died at thirty-one

the younger one was picked up put away

his underpaid lawyer tired smiled patted shoulders

fifteen more months of under-seasoned “meat” –could be worse


salt water halo

i leave the door ajar while i sort refold repack the sweaters shirts jeans shorts

tags still attached until he gets back

a scavenger, i eat on food stamps and dig myself a sanctuary

in a compiled dust old junk grease stains house

spiders watch me shower


my saintly lover sighs and i apologize

we met at the start of shit falling apart

our summers bring bad drivers sweat cat hair everywhere

so, we take to the mountains

escaping the stink and thinking


for a week, climbing soggy cheese and trail mix

watching the kaleidoscope landscape crumble into night

he holds me steady, and i can breathe


A Tracing

advertising mind control

mouth ear finger head

a sponge –fucked




starlet envy

bleached blonde

diva decapitated

coffee smoke rings, the trash

hasn’t been picked up for weeks


erased painstakingly

protruding ribs and hips


teetering on patent leather boots

in black and white


a sliver crust, a dropped jar of pickles


ignore it until it’s gone away

the graying sheets with makeup splotching


Amanda “Cal” Phoenix is an undergraduate student at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta and has had work featured in Inscape and The Hobo Camp Review.

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