Two Poems by Layla Lenhardt

Art by Lily Bell

Bone Hoarder

You were a dream that I had

never woken up from. The statues

were crumbling & you pulled me down

past their marbled grayness, down into the only

patch of greenery left in my life. You kept me

there in secret. With your finger pressed

staunchly against pursed lips, you took me under

humming street lamps & in cloth passenger’s seats. Each time

you buried trinkets in my rib cage, weighing me down,

hoarding secrets in my bones. The stillness in the summertime

slumber made me believe if we never opened our mouths for them,

we could hideaway inside of each other forever.

When the birds had left, their southern trajectory was a Rorschach

blotting the August air. But you flew North & I had to keep

reminding myself that you were real. That the dead

orchid in my room was more than a metaphor,

that we could both see the same stars dying

in the same night sky.

Suburban Grief

Sara saunters over, tiptoeing.

The asphalt roof, the slope

of the shingles scratches our legs.

Guitar trills twists perfectly

with her lips, curved into an inner tube

exhaling the suburban grief.

The pink of her nipples, communion wafers.

and I was begging for God.

We shimmied through splintered panes,

the night was our rectory.

She sang in falsetto and my goosebumps

prickled triumphant

while the stars met their death above us,

like marshmallows in hot chocolate.

Fizzing quietly to a sad end.

Someone asked me once,

about the best cigarette I’ve ever had.

It was on the tongue of a girl

too old for her age, too busy for her body.

Her thighs, her legs,

not quite long enough

to patch the distance.

Layla Lenhardt is the founder and editor-in-chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has most recently been published in Peeking Cat Poetry, 1932 Quarterly, and the forthcoming Door Is A Jar and Street Light Press. She is from the North East, but she currently resides in Indianapolis and she believes that you can never have enough cats.

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