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Sunday, April 28, 2019


by Ariana D. Den Bleyker



She swallows the news, a lump in the back of her throat,
watching all the armies who rally to save her gather,

seemingly defeated, their hopes hanging 
upon the delicate flesh of failed ghosts.

Balance of possibilities can go either way:
with just a whisper of wind, touching hand giving strength

to moments of truth swinging gently, leaning, anchored, swaying, 
rediscovering & restoring, though always permanently rooted. 

A new furnace burns brightly, metal ablaze, wrapped in red heat;
sweat pouring, glistening brighter than molten steel, boiling her people

until the day is done & lions roar by the hearth-fire. 
The sun briefly shines, allowing moments for thoughts

& strange songs of what will happen 
tomorrow that may never be real.


She grits her teeth & makes a home far away—
deep within caves within caves, farther back until blue becomes blackness.

She returns to her mother, to nothing,
for inside Plato’s ultimate form illusions of illusions demystified & ugly

rely on her starkness—this & all that she saw
when he crawled in her bed unworthy of sitting by her side,

her form easy enough to reach, as if an object of his desire
left alone to bruise & soil while lying beneath the earth,

left with angry words unable to differentiate
the stomping with supposed compassionate feet, 

the head held down feeling no regrets. 


She can see the revolution from her window,
the small orbits, when they turn away & return 

& sometimes a star falls, a blazing fire shot down,
a demigod dying & it comes down on her—

the thing that once was but is now lost inside her,
borrowing girder, salvaging safety for others, 

relieving the pressure amid weary shoulders grasping
for strength, taking refuge in sacrifice & pain

of her people giving what they’re willing to never receive,
as they walk breathlessly into the ether,

surveying the fact or fiction placed in their hands.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, including Wayward Lines (RawArt Press, 2015), the chapbooks Forgetting Aesop (Bandini Books, 2011), Naked Animal (Flutter Press, 2012), My Father Had a Daughter (Alabaster Leaves Publishing, 2013), Hatched from Bone (Flutter Press, 2014), On Coming of Age and Stitches(Origami Poems Project, 2014), On This and That (Bitterzoet Press, 2015), Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Beautiful Wreckage (Flutter Press, 2015), Unsent (Origami Poems Project, 2015), The Peace of Wild Things (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Knee Deep in Bone (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015), Birds Never Sing in Caves (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), Cutting Eyes from Ghosts (Blood Pudding Press, 2017), Scars are Memories Bleeding Through (Yavanika Press, 2018), A Bridge of You (Origami Poems Project, 2019), Even the Statue Weeps (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2019), and Confessions of a Mother Hovering in the Space Between Where Birds Collide with Windows (Ghost City Press, forthcoming 2019). She is also the author of three crime novellas, a novelette, and an experimental memoir. She hopes you'll fall in love with her words.