2 Poems by Maura Way

SACRED HEART

Constant penance does me
no favors. Chastisement grows
like a cashew, outside of itself.
I will earn my badge for World
Thinking Day and still feel bad.
My tepid heart will not become
fervent. It’s a bleeding flower
on a vine, refusing to love.

PELL MELL

The pants-crap of baneful
defensiveness kept me in
my lane. Protecting yourself
is the mute feedback loop.
Come under my wing. Oh,
right, you can’t. I say that
isn’t my problem, and I’m
not allowed to talk about
it. Boundaries are healthy.
There are no boundaries.
We can make a universe
in the lab now. The sperm
count is fine. Balmy weather
inside the already one. Isn’t
it interesting?
isn’t enough.
Earlobes are often detached.
So are garages. The tennis
ball on a string tells me when
to stop. My akimbo instincts
are armpit led. I could easily
ram into walls, crumbling.

Originally from Washington, DC, Maura Way lives in Greensboro, NC, by way of Boise, ID. ANOTHER BUNGALOW, her debut collection, was released by Press 53 in 2017. Maura's work has appeared in numerous journals, including Verse, DIAGRAM, Drunken Boat, The Ocean State Review, and The Chattahoochee Review.  She has been a schoolteacher for twenty-two years. 

Elijah Tubbs