person Stephanie L. Harper, two poems

Stephanie L. Harper grew up in California, attended college in Iowa and Germany, completed graduate studies and gave birth to her first child in Wisconsin, and lives with her husband and children and writes poetry in Oregon. Her debut poetry chapbook, This Being Done (Finishing Line Press), will be released in June 2018.

\\

Dross

when the glacial lake outburst

flood scored the dawn of her

watershed

bones in the earth

she was meant to be everything

everything                       other than this

bottleneck of basalt
fugitives
frozen within
foramina
this stenosis
unsounding
the tributaries—

the cascades un-sung
hungering
the millennia—

this                                     distended

motherless

mantle     of belly     & breasts     burbled to pitch

//

Chimera

Had you been capable of opening
your eyes       you’d have seen

that the obvious upside
to my unique   coalescence

of scaly-headed tail         caprid skull
leonine belly       & three belching maws

was my reliable prescience
to forewarn of cataclysm       but

you never ceased to make monstrosity
your sticking point

Even your Lycean forbears’ stories
of the diaspora—           of how my children’s

fetal cells drifted from my womb       endured
the eons amidst the vessel & sinew landscapes

of aliens         & were ultimately delivered
to their new         craggy homeland beyond

the blood-brain cordon         to spawn a nation
of discrete selves as rare & fierce as their maker—

have failed       it seems       to inspire
your affection…

Was the transgression of my seething
once upon a time beneath your collective

hunkering in the basalt’s depths
so heinous as to name me     Anathema

so aberrant as to exonerate
your assassin’s sullying of Pegasus?

Though murder carapaces your shuddering
heads from my ash cloud’s descent

yet know this:       your lost-wax fairytales
have no more tempered the face of who I am

than cast the specter from the dark
hell-fire you dream:       that yet I am

\\

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