Home Literary Arts Three Poems from Gillian Thomas

Three Poems from Gillian Thomas

Three Poems from Gillian Thomas
loose harvest

In another life, I was edible
flowers. I wore a fitted baby tee
that said tubular. It came to define
me. Fingerling sounds dirty—name of a 
slim potato. Early, I was planting
seeds, craving exotic leaves; slip of sweet
yam or horned melon. Prized for bitterness,
it takes time to develop. Now I have
but looking back, I long for gherkins that
lack acerbic zing. I see me, purple,
not fully ripe. My mouth waters for green
cucumber without the spine. Where do I
grow from here, I ask the dirt. It answers
with a wire cage; 6 feet of used earth.

Soft Eviction

I thought of it as home; that’s why I yelled:
I thought that lovers always yelled at home.
I never softened the blow. From my throat
I always spoke guttural truth. You knew
I loved you. Neighbors felt differently—
I blushed from the knocks at the door. I swore
I would reign it in. Anger moved in, and
You, lighthearted, said we should charge it rent.
Your steps went from Baryshnikov, though, to
Your leg-heavy impression of Bigfoot.
You never said you were stomping on my
Heart, but I know how fury shakes hardwood.
They asked us to leave. We cried and embraced.
We vacated; keys changed. New place. Same things.


It shouldn’t surprise us
that he breaks—he was born that way;
thin, wan. Yellow would disappear
after he would incubate, but never really
went away. Defiant when we begged
for slumber; temper short while
awake. Eventually, fists like hammers
and slender feet against beanbag. 
For love of species as wild as himself,
refusal to eat any meat; but pride
in his heart and conscience doesn’t help
or bring any relief. He puts ten dollars
in my hand and insists we share with
elephants and lions. The therapist
wants to place him behind sturdy locked
doors and tells us to pray for
compliance. The sobbing and shrieking
and the “I don’t know why” rise regularly
and haunt us. I reapply makeup as I try
to discern sounds of a cry
from distant sirens.

Gillian Thomas is a graduate of New York City’s Hunter College, with a degree in English and Theater. Thomas’ work has been featured in multiple journals, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Gargoyle, Maryland Literary Review, JMWW journal, Gargoyle Online, Ligeia Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, and others. She was recently interviewed in Issue 1 of The Basilisk Tree poetry journal. She lives in Washington, D.C.’s suburbs with her husband, son, and a barking Miniature Schnauzer.

Image: Growth Tree Rings from Vijayanrajapuram under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.


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