Shit She's The Whistle



it has been a rusted can

no, no, a solemn

no, no, a cluster of a month

this month it’s been

sardines and hot sauce

for dinner again for Sam

this is where we often disagree

but still, we’re deep

we remind each other of this with winks

we read until the other cannot sleep

Sam reads Emily so she doesn't sleep

I read Sam because she doesn't sleep—

I upheaved an almanac of lanterns

to pull up her spirits

she already had an artillery she said

and in the colors she preferred

they’re in her room she never lives in

at the semi-slow grocery

“funky”, according grandmothers

I think funky is the way Sam is old and learned

but has a contemporaneous sister

who keeps her in touch with the newest

who cannot do much

from layers of building plans—

great tin buildings soon to be

lonely as poles

at the enhanced playground

but that is a land, you know,

that is herland, but still

not exactly her land—

she knows it all too well

she mouths playground splinters to Sam

to comfort Sam, it comforts Sam

but no more than cutting pages

from books—not quite like typing

but kind of like butterscotch—

these days, she stands at the window

rests her head between

what isn’t, may as well be

her memory—

One is a cough

caused by a lima-bean

One is a really big crystal

One is a tetherball we set loose on

all the town's children—


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Haley Rene Thompson is a poet who studies in the Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst. Her work can be found in notnostrums, LOOM, iO: A Journal of New American Poetry, Everyday Genius, Smoking Glue Gun, and her chapbook, Coos & Ons, is forthcoming from Dikembe Press. She currently lives above a suspect antique shop in Northampton, Massachusetts.