Inclement Weather & Other Poems

Zoe Antoine-Paul

Insomniac, two weeks in

i ghost my own life
            mesmerise the edges of it
sink through

houston and sprout
            up against third avenue

sister the bones
           lifting the hawk’s wing
the rat’s gut

the glisten of
           a black beak flecked
with blood

the happiness
            of strangers grinds
my teeth

pink skies
           harbinge neurosis
or brain damage

another tuesday
          3am ER triage again
no use

all the xanax
           in the world has lost
its edge

On a Friday in July, I orchestrated happy

I commandeered the pickled daikon,
marched carrots up the cutting board
diagonal slice by diagonal slice.

When my honey stood in the doorway,
sun like a disease glimmering his teeth
and tainting his hair,
                        I tongued the cloying,

and in the living room, my bubblegum
busted eardrums bled cotton candy bright,
but Britney played on, joy won:

a brilliant yellow yawn gulping down
the kitchen one wall at a time,

an emesis of poppies and Prozac
flooding the bathroom floor
so I waded in happy,

let it swallow my limbs lemon,
kiss my lover every hour on the hour,
let happiness buckle my knees
and pull me under.

Inclement Weather

how delicate the mercilessness of a crisp below zero,

how bone-wisp and brittle the ice-latticed sidewalk

and sun-starved tree. the wind banshees

the song it’s sung for two months now,

high notes whistle through emaciated branches,

crescendo against my exposed face, my bluing hands.

in december i become a testament

to staying alive. everything in me claws for it;

my blood plays hide and seek with the pinprick air

leeching warmth to soothe its lonely, my lungs

gag on it, savour the needle-thin oxygen

ballooning my chest despite itself. i silver;

the sky, a mirror, refuses to back down

so i crack with it; winter splintering my skin

to so much light.

Zoe Antoine-Paul was born on the Island of Saint Lucia, but now calls Brooklyn home. She likes writing about the city, the beauty in the mundane, and everyday internal turmoil. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in F(r)iction Magazine, Poets Collective, Scapegoat Review, Funicular Magazine, West Trade Review, and New Note Poetry. When she isn’t writing, Zoe can be found crunching numbers in Mid-town.

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