B. W. Beardsley

a r      m

Listen to the audio version read by Sean Mahoney.

a fractal of itself        the integer of nucleated substance    meat of bicep        tricep
tendons               hackneyed  &     tethered      the ripple beneath        a substrate
that indurates flesh with capillaries                    deep               buried in contusion
littered with synovial fluid               humerus             waterboarded           a mess
of stagnant blood                                                    socket            enraged     deep
ache spliced open     a crumpet pried apart    crisped      in the toaster      blackness
lingering             capsule of shoulder       excoriated         as if        the       sucking
yearn      of maggot       to                  putrid                              skin

* * *


Listen to the audio version read by Sean Mahoney.

A wedge of me, lost.
Scent, lingering near mother's clothesline, sun,
A rare May event inching from mud season slime that grimes the road
Low lying portals into sway, crash,
Father's expletives, and the soon to be missing

But I am on the tree line, wind,
An imperative, the desiccated leaves from November rattling like
Some Halloween ghost unsure what — or where — to haunt.

And yet, I am inching back to the house, stealth an invention of my nine-year-old
Self, secrets lacing my dungarees, fiction brewing my brain,
Maples swaying, needles of pines nudging my arm, and that smell —
Clean clothes levitating in the air
Scenting somewhere near, where I was.


she left the house this morning

Listen to the audio version read by Sean Mahoney.

she left the house this morning

skirt / bracelets / lip gloss

           groceries for her birthday lunch Br> home within an hour exhausted

she clapped her hands
i so cited by people coming   for my birthday

and then    they weren't' it was something—an illness—a forgotten appointment— she was holding a box of pasta in one hand and reaching inside the grocery bag with the other —her hand got stuck in the handle and was flapping against plastic and she looked at me —eyes charcoal —brows scrinching toward her nose —

her hand stopped flapping

            took a step toward me


B.W. Beardsley received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her work has appeared in the Pitkin Review, Pentimento Magazine, Interfictions Online as well as The Examined Life Journal (University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine). She currently serves as a poetry editor for Clockhouse Literary Journal.