Two Poems by Layla Lenhardt

Tomato Flakes
“Oh you’ve got green eyes, oh you’ve got blue eyes, oh you’ve got grey eyes” – New Order
I keep you hidden
in my bedside table,
or buried between my legs.
And at times, we don’t speak.
On the day we saw the moss
covered pond next to the house
that knelt on the hillside, I swore
I could say your name forever.
Your hand was entwined in mine,
like bodies in Pompeii.
You feed me artichoke
hearts from the jar. And loving
you is always eating from the
same bowl, stained bedsheets,
never-have-i-ever in Adirondacks.
It started with your skin, peeling
like a birch tree, the sun spilling
through the door jamb. You
carried with you the salty
air of the Atlantic.
It ended with a hurricane
bridges washed away,
roads buckled, I no longer
lick your wounds, paint
your nails. Send you photos.
And missing you is like
trying to tame a wildfire.
Cece & Silvino
I wish I could take every path. I wish
I could let such carnivorous aliens
bloom between my hip bones. I wish
I could hold little fingers in my hand,
give you your first palm readings, make
dandelion wine to take to Nona’s.
There’s no easy answer. I’d adore you
for a thousand years, and a thousand
years after that. I’d spend an eternity
memorizing your freckles, speaking your
names, but the gold around my
finger is heavy and unnatural, motherhood
is complicated. I’m not cut for this
I’d be a bird, feeding you what I’ve already
digested, straining out the bad parts. I’d
Let you fill the moon. But I’d never be
ready. I can’t re-write my mercurial DNA,
I can’t make my bones need something they don’t.
Each month I will bleed and each month
he’ll travel further and further away. He’ll burry my jewels
in the dirt, throw my heirlooms in the ocean.
The decision is my zeitgeist
so I’ll keep my mirrors sheeted,
and I’ll let him tell them I didn’t
want you. It’s his way of healing.
But know, if I could take every path, that you would be my
Full Moon in Taurus, an earth shaking,
thundering, explosion of love.
Layla Lenhardt is a queer poet who splits her time between Indianapolis and Philadelphia. She is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Rust + Moth, Sad Girls Club, Poetry Quarterly, and Pennsylvania Literary Journal.

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