erica lewis

help the roses* for cathy wagner

ska is still a thing

bird by bird

we’ve got to be selflessness

it’s not at all about the shapes

/where we could or could not soar

i think much sickness comes from our unwillingness /

around where we are

unwilling to be less of what we think we are

i am laying down now

i am hoping

the chaos starts swirling softer for you

i mean you could be the winner of the month

or the winner of nothing

but blue skies and difficulty

because we both pretend

that it’s not real

more than once

we all please get freaky with it

been lost out here

i want to spend the night out here

have lunch in this sunflower field

where things haven’t changed

where we are bored makers

of parties that were meant to last



the year of just wanting to be

sleep that knits up

desiring something other than

what we possess

a floating palace

a spoil of riches

the long headed chain

my little nest

so much roomier and sadder

we made a little noise

stripped down the bar to the chords

the low anthem

a living sea

of hands above my head

all i want is what we all want

to see

the other side of summer



remember what you looked like

listening to 90s music

neon letting up

karma to burn

exposing every privacy

the intricate bodies of birds

the world doesn’t owe you anything

it’s the conundrum, really

same as all our hearts&shit

&maybe, sometimes, you decide to yell aloud “fuckthatshit”

before you were even asked

hey mama won’t you come down

mama won’t you come down

to the river to wash my hair

hey mama won’t you come down

like you did for years and years

mama won’t you come down

we still have the taste

of dancing on our tongues


*”heaven help us all”


Excerpted from mary wants to be a superwoman

erica lewis lives in San Francisco where she is a fine arts publicist and curates the john oates house reading series. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various anthologies and journals. Books include the precipice of jupiter, camera obscura (both collaborations with artist Mark Stephen Finein) and murmur in the inventory. daryl hall is my boyfriend, book one in the box set trilogy, is just out from Barrelhouse; mary wants to be a superwoman, book two, is forthcoming from Third Man Books in 2017. Recent chapbooks include publications from Ypolita Press and Lame House Press; chapbooks are forthcoming in 2016 from Belladonna, Lark Books, and After Hours/The Song Cave. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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