Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Under Promised Stars

Poems by Marilyn Souza, California

gary’s place

todd tells me i'm among poets
that i need not worry

but i just saw the man i think i could fall in love with
get sucker-punched

so the only thing i'm really worrying about, now

is that during our first kiss
he apologized for his actions
and i smelled
of cigarettes and beer



If you knew me...

You'd know that
I want
to be a mother.

But, there are steps
I must take
to ensure
a happy, healthy

I must be
financially stable
old enough
have met the
right man

A guy I dated once
told me that
we could have a child
when I saved $8000.
When I asked him why not
$7000, or $9000...
He said $7000 didn't seem
like enough...
And $9000 seemed
like too much.

I dream about
what my child's
face will look like
What kind of person
he or she will be
If I will be a good enough

Spend my daydreams
thinking up clever names
that they won't get made
fun of for.
Think about what books
I would love to teach them
to read.
Think about first steps
first words
first everythings.

If you knew me...

You'd know that
I have been the one
that 3 girlfriends
have called
to help them
get the abortion pill
they needed

To kill their mistakes.
To bleed out a child
that I would gladly
have by accident.


C&B 8/18

their chests rising and falling
outstretched, messy
drunkenly taking up spaces

they are unaware
that they are whole
they have the power to
they are

altered, under
the influence
their chests
rise and fall

almost sleeping now
lost in a dreamland
of calamity
and these green mountains

they have no idea what they want

once they
figure it out
it will
too late

and dreams will seem
like beautiful beings

 Fertility Figuerine
Woodland Museum of Biblical Archeology
Woodland, CA
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


sir, speak softly under lips of godflesh, for the holy roman empire knows not of beauty like yours, that i know i am the only one blessed enough to see.
go with them.
go with those angels who fly sideways so that the view of the sun won't ever be obscured.
fly with them.
branch wings from those tingling muscles.
sprout feathers as though your heart were growing outward.
go with them.
fly with them.
be sure, to say your prayers at night, even if silently, because you and i both know that no one is listening.
be them, just the same.



The world has echoed a silent prayer for me.
It entrusts in me, its beauty, its splendor.
I have been a slave to man's lie-flavored flesh.
Here, I know his secrets.
Here, I can sense the lies between his thighs.
The only one who knew.
The only one who knows.
I am the silent partner who wishes to not be named.
I am the tragedy with the shapeless face.
I will be the rendering of all you've ever found whole and real inside yourself.
And I will not ask you to spend more than I am worth.



we compiled names
clever, crack-whip, unembarrassing names
to see that face
that name used up
sent forth
into a world
that is not so forgiving

i tried to rub you out
in spoonfuls
pull you from those hips
remove you from that shaft
take you in
to me
so i could nurture something

twenty-four was the breach of contract
a life less worth living
i was not made use of
are the last days
the only times
and it will not be today
or tomorrow

years from now
i will remember
all those salty
and wish i could purge them
back up
and plant them

 Jewish Incantation Bowl
Woodland Museum of Biblical Archeology
—Photo by Michelle Kunert


with him...i talked of sickles

with you...i want the pitchfork

aerate that clay-colored soil under those green trees that remind me of your underbrush eyes

eyes that i desperately need on me

kiss me under those stars...stars like the million promises we were both promised

i'll keep them for the sky, as a reminder of what i can hold onto for you

of you

you are a man.

and i am a sorry excuse for a keeper of your stars...
let me keep them anyway

stride with me
will grow

and we shall toast triumphantly, the fruit of our labor

and i'll just will taste sweeter
under promised stars


Today’s LittleNip:

)my love life(

the traffic lights
change too quickly
around here

‘cause somehow
they know
that nobody
is coming.


Marilyn Souza was born in California, raised in Nebraska, and sharpened her literary teeth in Las Vegas.  She's been back in California since 2008, having featured at numerous venues throughout Nevada and Sacramento counties.  She believes the key to a well balanced life is simple.  "A few dollars in your pocket, an artichoke in the fridge, and love."  She'll eat your heart out!  Marilyn will be reading at Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe tomorrow night (Thur., Dec. 10), 7:30pm. Be there!

And welcome to the Kitchen, Marilyn! Don’t be a stranger!



Ancient Middle Eastern Goddesses
Woodland Museum of Biblical Archeology
—Photo by Michelle Kunert