A Poem by Nicole Borello

Bleeding on Telegraph

Red blossom lady of Berkeley. Lovely

lady, limping lady of crucifixion

groin. A drifter of bayonet gashes.

On the inside you may be riddled with handgun

holes, but your wounds date back to childhood

burns. Telegraph, filled with racks of tie-dye

and incense, sees you as a piece of stained

lacework thrown into a pile of crushed

pelvis. It’s hard to find the meaning behind

your hidden canyon. Between your knees and lips

cries the plucked bloodroot. You’re better off with

a needle in your arm. The river takes your denim

by surprise and snips you into bluish doll scraps.

When the mind departs, you say, “So what if I bleed,”

and then hobble through the crowd of aging hippies.

Nicole Borello is the author of So What If I Bleed (Llumina Press, 2010), Fried Fish and Breast Milk (dancing girl press, 2013), Delirium of the Deflowered (Quaci Press, 2013). She is the editor and founder of Quaci Press.