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Poetry: Donna Vorreyer


A group of women

lined up for the bathroom    for the brothel    for the firing squad

huddled around a cell phone    a warming fire    a wad of cash

gathered at the coffee shop    the abortion clinic    the morgue 

waiting for the Vera Wang    the Richard Gere    the new regime

plucking eyebrows    chickens    rice from muddy fields

holding Coach purses    hand grenades    wounded children 

marching in a bright parade    in handcuffs    in the village square

filing affidavits    fingernails    serial numbers from stolen guns

singing at karaoke    a Baptist church    a funeral procession 

serving mojitos    tennis balls    other richer women

living on credit    Ramen noodles    the outskirts of joy

starving to be thin    to be held    starving 

crying over spilt milk    dropped gavels    burning homes

riding horses    subway cars    the tops of trains

picking Lotto numbers    mangoes    ticks from their skin

sitting shiva    in lotus pose    under trees in the dirt

choosing grapefruits    and partners    and sides

missing the mark    front teeth    lost brothers 

carrying debt    water    babies on their backs

crossing intersections    wires    their fingers

dancing in the club    the summer rain    the dark house

building skyscrapers    crescendos    a better tomorrow

dialing ex-boyfriends    Chinese takeout    9-1-1

writing sonnets    overdrawn checks    suicide notes 

painting parking stripes    abstracts    henna on their hands

bearing crosses    other women's babies    jugs on their heads

matching funds    and outfits    and mug shots to attackers

burning bras    leaves    the evidence

weaving grass mats    through traffic    stories

driving golf balls    old Gremlins    stakes into the dirt

kissing princes     and princesses    and golden idols

spreading jam    disease    weary thighs

breathing smoke rings    garlic    heavy in the dark

smoothing skirts    frazzled hair    yarn on a loom

drawing comics    weapons    into themselves

killing kindness    spiders    their female babies

sinking ships    dish in soapy water    stones in a holy river

bowing in prayer    to an audience    in obeisance

falling off stilettos    down stairs    into open manholes

pressed into elevators    corners    pages of thick books

promised diamonds    jobs    to men they do not know

scattered by gossip    gunshots    men who care not where they land.

All rights reserved to Donna Vorreyer.

Illustration by Meghan Irwin.

Poetry: Dustin Luke Nelson

Poetry: David Blumenshine