Two Poems by Linda M. Crate


you sang to me the vampire song, warning me to stay away; evading my every choice to try to capture the image of your face or words—i walked so many graveyards just to know the lilt of the lips you never used to kiss me goodnight, the arms that would never hold me, the voice that would never read to me good night stories or offer any praise; wandered so many starry nights seeking a man that didn't want to be found—you always manage to suck the marrow from my bones and the blood from my veins even if we've never met, and i try not to allow that to offend me too much; father, but i would be lying if i said it didn't—how many thorns must you cut me on, how many times must i bleed just to know the soft whisper of any inheritance of love? all i ever wanted was to know the topography of your histories and see where we could intertwine in some sort of semblance of understanding and common knowledge, but you left me as always bereft; not even the whisper of your name hangs its shadow in my light so i cannot hope to know anything other than this painful silence and void where your name and body should be.


when her husband died

the queen crawled out of his bones,

and reclaimed her power;

for years she had lived in the decadence

they called silence but that gold

was fool's gold so she remembered the

power of her voice an danced as she had never

danced before when her husband

had been living—

a densely packed dream she unraveled

letting the music of her heart flow freely through

her veins,

realizing she was more than a zillion universes

wrapped in the bones of a girl;

brazen wings of the immortal phoenix were the

feathers this pretty bird had to fly with and so she shorn

herself from the curse of a cage—

every sunset was a more beautiful jewel than the last

as it fell upon her face, each rainful more a blessing;

so she embraced the arms of the love she had never known


the self-love she always ought to have respected

but she now knows she was the goddess

they never prayed to—

yet, that, in no way diminishes who she is,

and who she is yet to become.


Linda M. Crate's poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).

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