Two Poems by Chris Biles

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Etched

protected
and unprotected
parts
make the whole
make the art

pour on the acid
the chemicals
feel the burn
feel the boiling consumption
depletion
destruction

or just watch it

from beneath the quiet balm
of secrecy and lies

protected and unprotected
parts
make up the whole

of the individual
or
on the macro scale:

protected
and unprotected
parts
make the whole
make the art

pour on the acid
the chemicals
feel the burn
feel the boiling consumption
depletion
destruction

or just watch it

from beneath the quiet balm
of privilege

Crossing the Circle

Searching for some worthy memories
a round white man
red in the face from the sun
from the exertion of walking
roomy shorts pulled up over his belly
legs stretching from the two tents
down to tall ribbed socks
emerging from oversized Velcro-ed shoes
Santa Claus on vacation
he leans back
points his fancy camera
at the fearless face of Washington
sitting atop his horse
sword outstretched
pointed
-click-
-click-
on to the next.

McDonald’s cup in hand
slightly crumpled but clean
bright white
with golden arches
“Can I get an egg and cheese
an egg and cheese?”
strained deep voice
blind eyes search
never find
but the finding is in
the other senses
like the taste
of an egg and cheese in the morning
a strawberry milkshake tomorrow.

Matted-haired to match
the fuzz of faux-fur white slippers
in an oversized jacket
of colors unworthy of remembrance
a small woman rocks back and forth
on a bench covered in pigeon poop
clutching her stomach
pain etched into her face
she leans over
spits onto the sidewalk
moves her wet lips
cursing
cursing
to herself
spit drips
she remains bent
eyes closed
rocking.

Unloading
only to reload
then unload again
a road bike with peeling
strips of duct tape along its length
faded
to a nebulous white
baggy clothing
and a baggy beard
jolting with his jaw
as the man with hollow eyes
tells himself
adamantly:
“one door closes,
but another will open”
again
again
again
“one door closes,
but another will open”
“one door closes,
but another will open”
“one door closes,
but another will open.”

Down the escalator
to the metro
running to
and from
I wonder
if it’s a waste of time
to think that walls
can open and close
as doors

Chris Biles currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing with the light and the dark, and losing herself in music, anything outside, and some words here and there. Published by Neon Door, Bourgeon Online, Exeter Publishing, Evening Street Review, Haunted Waters Press, Yellow Arrow Publishing, Signatures Magazine, FleasOnTheDog, and others. You can find her at www.chrisbiles03.com / Instagram: @marks.in.the.sand


Image by Chris Biles, courtesy of the author.

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