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Lorelei Bacht Poetry

loneliness rides my bed.

By Lorelei Bacht

furled sail: i failed to boat around
goodbye. could not, would not –

nobody left to ripple these linens.

i should have bottled a message,
apologised, red flared. now crest-

fallen, doldrummed, i raise a single
malt to my failing fictions: no

map, trade wind, turbine. dwindling
supplies of fish and oranges: i am

turning forty. no ghost fishing,
bottom trawling, no mouthful of

nacre – herringbones all. i looked
a captain for a while, then not so

much, then not at all. fallen hook,
line, sinker. others make love while i

flush upon flush, anemone fever.
fading instead of adding up, frayed

pyjamas starfished across, my body
neither vessel nor halo. something

said no. did not say try again. said
shut up, sit here for a while. do not

cast nets, do not searchlight. do not.

you must moon your own sky.


hands of tree bark.      on me, a mark
that you could not, would not

axe out. the undercut is where we part,

a pity of heartwood.

medullary anatomy once
treasured, wished sapped and replete – 

now led afraid, tangled veined leaves,
congealed, blank molasses.

what is a mess for? a forest

now hysterectomised. my floors
will abstain from growing lemons,

apricots, pears. you stare
at the damage, wishing yourself away,

a bird, a light, something singing,
still. the process of

cutting, gutting a tree repulses you.

you say your song of feller from
fortune: catch-a-hold this one,

catch-a-hold that one. the song

is not enough. is not ever:

you won’t be home
in the spring of the year.


is how he takes the mechanical
heart: hacksaw, bradawl, diagonal

pliers. my mood reduced to paper
moon, tinfoil – only the nuts and bolts

matter. statistical champion, a clamp
instead of the open hand my lonely

demands, he claims: you, me – a mere
blood count, a column addition.

i inhale his red lines, broken mercury
beads. are we lost or failing rusty

fire ladders? hit hell. hit square
one and as you attempt to drag your

broken wing up that catwalk once
again, consider this: with him, it was

never your when.

i could drop this black stone. i don’t.

i hold onto the lightning rod and tell
myself fables, collect the little hurts,

invent a reason why, or a reason
why not: knuckle, jacknife, golem.

i could drop this black stone. i don’t.

i refuse to look for colour, refuse
to walk the orange grove, collect 

petals, prismatic, kite, marble, shoe-
shine. don’t care for anything but black

and blue – i document and document,
fingerprint ghosts, deform every

morning. you call me out: sew that
sleeve into a white flag, you know

how to. but i sit and sulk, eat my own
red chalk. one day, i might grow tired of

holding myself hostage. not yet, not
yet, i mumble, treasuring the hurt.

let’s dance.

home: not a yellow brick house, not
fortunate, four solid square windows,

but precarious, tumbled rainbows, a wild
stone throw of fireflies, ephemeral

at best, a test of all the medals you
carry: allan, carrie – some decade or

other, you decided upon a game and
played every single friend along the road:

losing, losing, finding yourself gutters
once more, trucker piss bottle full

of stars – one time, two times, seven
times unlucky. when will you learn to take

the shoe off, throw away that stone?


Lorelei Bacht is a fabrication whose poetic work has appeared / is forthcoming in The Night Heron Barks, Queerlings, Feral, Barrelhouse, Sinking City, Stoneboat, OyeDrum Magazine and elsewhere. They can be found on Twitter @bachtlorelei and on Instagram @lorelei.bacht.writer. In a past life, they wrote and edited fiction. They are currently watching the rain instead of working on a chapbook.