Amy Strauss Friedman

Collapse of a Small Republic
Jessie drank a half-gallon of paint.
Silver tin holding Hazel Dust.
She would swallow him still.
Coat her lungs in fairytale.
It was a Friday, as good a day as any
to end the occupation.
The stars above her discoed
but she knew they were dead.
Their sparkle only carcass.
The sky filled with tiny gurneys
carting off celestial livers, kidneys,
guts, hearts.

I creep over the fallow yard
through the strident, forgotten
prairie of your anger, leaving me
needle-pricked. Blood-soaked.
Imagining the small of your back,
where impenetrable problems
perch peacefully in shadow
and your skin tastes metallic.
An area just an inch
square, couched in promise.
I return to this landmark routinely,
to the backlit dot on the map
of every time we fell apart.

Amy Strauss Friedman is the author of the chapbook Gathered Bones are Known to Wander (Red Bird, 2016). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Rumpus, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Kentucky Review, FLAPPERHOUSE, Red Paint Hill, et al. Amy lives in Denver, Colorado. Her work can be found at