Three poems by Lake Angela

Updated: Sep 28

Orthodoxy


My first language, water, was driven

from me by steadfast threats of sulfur.

Guilt stares at me from my ghost, yellow

holes in the head, hands, feet.


The hermitess on the river’s cleft lip

in her blue gown clean with mud

was hired as a beggar

and licensed to pray.


The long-separated souls of the mountain

lilies sing an antiphonal dirge for their bygone

petals. Faceless, the ghost rushes back

between my legs.





What People Say to Me When My Stomach Shrinks


It’s for the best—the baby would be taken away because you have DID.


Why did you believe you could continue to dance? Did you also leap?


You must not be quite strong enough. Maybe your vagina is weak.


This is the consequence of using birth control before. Maybe God


doesn’t want you to be a parent. Everything happens for a reason:


maybe this is your punishment; maybe it is a trial. It is irresponsible


of you to choose not to eat other creatures when your babies needed


your meat; life is about more than just you, you know. It was God’s will.