Two Poems

by Stevie Edwards

Calling Her Names

             Call her crick in my neck I thought the chiropractor fixed
wolf that picked me up by the scruff to keep
                                     as a play thing
a play, I can’t figure out my lines, where the audience sits
                           a plush purple chair in my past with cigarette burns
where my death sits                   where she screams out
            at a man throwing me around a living room
dance party    poor swing dancer         where she screams me out
            of a cab           the man caught pouring
his martini into mine               again and again             Beauty
Bar       Chicago          Call her the love
            that eats me for breakfast                      Call her the love
that asks for my hand               in tornado
            and barfly                     in stomp out the room until
it’s time to be a better song                               call her chaos-
lover    call her              burns the whole damn house down
            after eviction                call her house               call her
changed phone number                         call her            I can’t
            pull scrap metal from a field     and build a getaway
        car            can’t play fiddle with toxic strings       can’t play
            dead anymore                call her disaster           porn
call her  I’m too fucking tired to look anymore        call her and say
            it’s okay you’re okay it’s okay          call her my name



After Party

After the party there is the after party and after the after
party there is the after after party. Trash

dance. Flash romance with a handsome
bar tab. Radiant night held in a gulp of blank

goodbye. Goodbye moon, my name is
wonder cunt. You can’t pull

the blood out of me with your bright stare
tonight. Goodbye romance,

my game is Hearts. I am always two-suited
and too slick for you. I take the spade

queen out for brunch. Bitch loves hollandaise
like I hate holidays. It’s not that kind

of party. No eggnog, no glittering evergreens—
beer and bacardi, a room whirling

bodies around its bloated belly. Goodbye
dance floor, I am warm and radial. Redial

the number of a man who called me
cunt and meant abscess or absence. Absinthe

makes the heart grow glow. I can go out
into the street and piss my name if want to,

cry if I want to, die if I want to, kiss
my bare knees if I want to. But it’s not my party.

Nothing stops when I wander. Bachata
booming through the snowy lawn. No voice

of God or concerned confidant asking
what tide pulls me out out and away

from the fun of neck musk sugar legs
galore. When I kneel down in the driveway

cooing, It was never your fault—to a girl
in a Holiday Inn a decade ago drowned

in the opposite of yes, that dread water, I am
more scabbed than taffeta dress. I slide into a glass

of whatever is left inside. Lazy spells for riddance:
Do I look pretty in this drink? Goodbye wonder,

my game is darts. I barely hit the board.
Goodbye handsome pulling a coat over me.

Flash into the after the after after party
cab. Into I am a sore site for worship and need

hollandaise and aspirin. Into don’t call me
until this goodbye sky fades back into a woman.

Stevie Edwards is the author of: Good Grief (Write Bloody, 2012) and Humanly (Small Doggies, 2015). Good Grief received the Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze in Poetry and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from SIU-Carbondale. She is Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Muzzle Magazine and Senior Editor in Book Development at YesYes Books. She holds an MFA in poetry from Cornell University and is a PhD candidate in creative writing at University of North Texas.