Liz Napieralski

Liz Napieralski lives in the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has finally resigned herself to the fact that she's not leaving anytime soon. If you were to steal her purse on any given day, you'd find a whole lot of pens that she's not that nice about lending to others, and a notebook shamed by all the scraps of paper she inevitably writes on instead, and more lip gloss than is really necessary for one person. (And not much cash. So don't steal her purse. It's not worth it.) Liz has worked as an editor and writer for Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine, FlagLive!, Santa Fean and THE magazine. This is her first published creative work, not counting that poem from elementary school that made it into her hometown paper in Cave Creek, Arizona.

 

Three Poems (September 2012. Issue 38.)

That Which Would Get Your Attention:

If the moon were to explode, or if
the alligators left the swamp and traveled
1,500 miles, unscathed, to our house and

ate your child. Your ex, spread-eagle and
naked in our bed. Or a vulture perched on
the rim of your ear, singing a dirge all through
the night—maybe that would get your attention.

The empty bottle of whisky, the stains on the
sheets—

The canopy in full bloom on a

perfectly unexploded-moon night,
waiting for the alligators or the vulture
to come bearing some secret, some miracle
that somehow this will all turn out all right.

392,684

In the dim and din
your body consumes itself
as fire
ashing away into nothing.

There is a moment
—climax, apex, apogee
before the final exhale
I know I will follow

and you will live
forever.

(392,684, the average number of smoking-related deaths per year, plus one.)

a domestic partnership

is not a partnership
at all,
it is only me,
rag in hand
rage in hand
the bleach
and the clutter
and oh, god,
the desire to
light a match
and not look back

I have
paid my dues,
washed your
laundry and
my passion with it
there is no "home"
anymore,
only messes
and sponges
and locking
myself in the
bathroom
one-two-three-four-five
deep breaths
and then
dinner to be made
my foul mood
slapping away
your playful touch

—but so briefly
I yield
your body is
warm and
smells of
just-showered
and oh, god—

but the timer beeps;
the moment is over
and I just need
a minute of
bleach-free air
and no,
it's not PMS
I'm not on the rag
sometimes, baby
it really is
just about the dishes.

The Legendary