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"Former Lives In Last Night's Dream", "Kite", & "The Girl Who Spoke Swords" by Tim Moder

Former Lives In Last Night’s Dream

I follow her through candlelit mazes. I watch her bathe herself

in flowers, painting her wings one feather at a time, or all at once.

She whirls in purple sheets, saffron ribbons in her hair, touching

things that grow, spending whole lives dancing in the buds of spring.

There are former lives storied between her lines, patchwork quilts,

thick multi-peopled memories. Encyclopedias. There are dry pages

and traces of ink within her fingers. Her voice is like a shower of

bees escaping my attention. There are violins and otherworldly

languages in her xylophones. She is cat mobile, purchases dresses

and purses to swing dreamily on garbage streets- the only color.

Poetic, all at once artistic. Reposed in pastel rooms, unfolding.

These hours are spent in agony, above all else ecstatic.

Return to where the years forget themselves.


I could know you in a full cup of whiskey. I could know you with bent legs,

face painted in the spring picking up the pieces of your lover. I could join

you in the southern hills. Together we could slip into a marble pool filled with

freckled tears, our outstretched hands learning the surface of the sycamore tree.

Hieroglyphs in our eyes, we will plunder your temples, expunge the air of incense

and sacrificial doves...I will carve your totem onto the back of my hand, with blood

dripping down long porcelain halls, ever deeper beneath the sand, euphoric I will

stagger. Daughter of the earth and sky, your hair in knots, you cause the rising tide.

The Girl Who Spoke Swords

The girl who spoke swords wears blindfolds, stands in air.

She scrawls spells that won’t be sung, into piles of spit and dirt.

She lays out a table of windows to souls, entrances to eternities.

The girl who spoke swords perceives meanings in deft lines.

She touches repetitious fissures; futures set in magic,

frightened skin over soothed bones, epidermal runes.

The girl who spoke swords wanders. She steps on edges.

Her balance is pressed with presence. She instructs. Advises.

Cautions opportunity with patience. Her very words are burdens.

The girl who spoke swords lessens the pain of doubt, for those

who would have her. She settles the night in silence.

She hangs her hands toward ground and lifts her crown.

The girl who spoke swords crosses her heart with Juniper.

Tonight, she swallows bold riddles and exhales ill omens.

Her stare is one of recognition. She is many open eyes.

Tim Moder is an Indigenous poet living in northern Wisconsin. He is a member of Lake Superior Writers. His poems have appeared in Penumbra Online, Paddler Press, Tigermoth Review, Sisyphus, and others.


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