Three poems by Lana Bella

Today, she broke hard bread with
hands of need; breaths caverned
sugar pills beneath diphthongs;
cloven teeth piped of slumbering
toxicity. Alone, she hurt in fierce
company of a Milwaukee winter;
its salient plane carried pale over
the svelte heights of her wooden
house on stilts, taking the shape
of goblin wings. Held and rasping,
she expelled a shock of mist from
red-scorching cheroot, sidling past
the running chatter of wine with-
out purchase, weaving where hem-
lock walls exploded in yellow lines
of her life blazed in domestic script.


Red-Lace Dress
The shadows won’t have
anything for her this evening.
But, the woman in red lace
dress turned fair beneath
the dissonant chords of pale
Paris, like bleached penne.
Fingers raised to rouge-edge
undertone, lips devoured
pochette motes at the Louvre,
inviolable as the grief she
tried to starve into a swallow
glass. Tracing wrist where
scars kissed ribbed and easy,
she burned cold suffocation
until the knuckles swept
concrete, magnificently bent,
where ash of a slim Gauloises
felled as bright as mercury
through the grate, terribly still.


You thought of Eve near the sea
and heard the first blue line
train sparked to a stop.
You saw her with a Chilean sky,
charquican writhed in the pot,
comforted the dark-creased
hands from reaching out,
reaching for the rosewood box
of her baby boy’s ash. Sand dug
in eyes, cherubic refrains
tarred with spaces of his wake;
stilted fingers rose like darkness
perching, in strands the color
of felled leaves, reflecting grey in
the gleam of goose fat. Torn
from early pages of solemnized
years, you dreamed of the sealed
room in that house, of Eve’s
plaited hair spilled white like
poplar in seeding, every unslept
night kissed her at the temple,
turned up now as artifacts
for keep, where elegy consented
to smooth black the scenery.


About the Poet
Lana Bella is a four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net, & Bettering American Poetry nominee. She is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016). She has had poetry and fiction featured with over 450 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, EVENT, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rock & Sling, The Lampeter Review, The Stillwater Review, and Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3.