Anchored Boat Lullaby by Dale Champlin

but I split wrong. Only my mind split—into an array of sirens withshow tunes played in between them. -Max Ritvo, “Stalking My Ex-Girlfriend in a Pasture” That night the three of us shared a banana split—chocolate, vanilla, strawberry—butterscotch drizzles,sprinkles, and whipped cream. We dressed to thenines—nothing unnatural between us. Tony Randall, Jack Benny, and Fred Astaire croonedand tripped behind us—Ziggy Stardust at the microphone.We presented … Continue reading Anchored Boat Lullaby by Dale Champlin

I Was Dealt a Sinister Hand by Dale Champlin

It’s a well-kept secret— put a bag over my headand I’m stunning—pleasedisregard the occasionalrattle and hiss. My body—how enticing—my limbslong and supple,my fingers ambi& dextrous,my ankles pliant & resilient. From the neck downI look good enough to eat—honeyed skin, choke cherry nipples,apricot breasts. Over a meadow my gait might glidebouncy and bubblyin pine-scented air. With the paper sack over my headI come across happy—yet—light a matchhow I … Continue reading I Was Dealt a Sinister Hand by Dale Champlin

Space Phobia by Dale Champlin

After I move out of here—if I make it—I want art, laughter and music. What is the term for the terrorof being alone in a huge open spacesomething like an asteroidtraveling at the speed of lightthrough vast emptiness?  I might tumble—a fear so pervasivethat at times I find myselfcrawling across the pine floor.Even then I might encounter a scorpion,a dozing rattler, or a black widow.While upright … Continue reading Space Phobia by Dale Champlin

A Faithful Housewife by Dale Champlin

after Federico García Lorca, An Unfaithful Housewife Translated from the Spanish by Conor O’Callaghan When I led Haroldto my rock by the pondI wondered if he was a virginthough he would soon be my husband. Would he guess that I was not?It took me so long to answer for myself—what does it mean to be a virgin?The peepers were chirping their lullaby. Was it the … Continue reading A Faithful Housewife by Dale Champlin

How Did Harold Die? by Dale Champlin

I ask, just to pass the time. Today for the first timein a long string of days,Old Shoe is lucid. “He died in an avalanche.No, it was a house firewhile I was on vacation. A car crash,” she said,“No wait, he was deliveringthe mail and a semi flattenedhis cart. He was a lumberjackand a widow-maker got him. Hewas cut in two by a freight train.He was … Continue reading How Did Harold Die? by Dale Champlin

Morality by Dale Champlin

Remember that I am your creature…                  —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Scarlet-lipped, magnetic, full blown and unmothered,I am the blank page my maker writes on. I was a beautiful  unblemished creature. Clean as a crow-picked bone,pure as virgin milk and batter before eggs are added, bright as an albino fawn, an ivory tusk before it’s hacked,a lampshade, Elmer’s glue … Continue reading Morality by Dale Champlin

Positively Volcanic by Dale Champlin

We played a game—the floor was lava—we hopped from couch to chair,crab walked across the window seat,then swung from the chandelieronto the library table. If you knockedanything over—a book, a goblet,a bowl of flowers—you would burstinto flame. When that happened the little hairs of me shot straight up.I squealed.  “Pop Goes the Weasel” tinkledin my ears. Outside small wrenspeeped in the bushes. Mouthwateringsmells drifted from the … Continue reading Positively Volcanic by Dale Champlin

Free of Pretense by Dale Champlin

You’d be surprised how many people talk to goldfish. He looked like a young David Bowie,her kid Jimmy, when he came and sat beside my bowl. “You know I’m an addict,”he told me. He talked to me the whole time he spread out his paraphernalia—needle, cotton balls,one of the Old Shoe’s bestsilver-plate spoons. He tied off his arm and flicked a vein to pop it to the surface, addeda few … Continue reading Free of Pretense by Dale Champlin

Barbie Suffers from Insomnia by Dale Champlin

O Mother                  I love you                  despite                                    everything. —Erica Jong To be deprived of sight and sound—exhausted as a lobster in a trap—unblinking—plunged to a depthwhere everything goes black. Here my desires seem flimsy—even water has lost its transparency. Threads of bubbles syphon up from my bed of leaf mold. Dear Mother, are you on your third Manhattan of the evening? Is my little girl lost in fitful sleep?Is your son under arrest … Continue reading Barbie Suffers from Insomnia by Dale Champlin