the fly claims no vertigo sitting on the sill


Busia’s fly at least bit you
when she tickled your ribs, her fingers
crawling past your sternum, to dance
under your chin, your delight
feigned as surprise or disgust,
begging “do it again”
until she told you the golumpki
wouldn’t roll itself.


as you spend the day mulling,
the day spends itself without you.
navel gazer, lint-spinner, snooze slayer –
carpe something, lest you circle,
mindless in your windowed cell,
sun filtered through glass and fronds,
blind to the takings
you’ve relished so long.


did you know, my love,
that while spiders spin seven
kinds of silk, only the cribellates comb
their multi-stranded sticky leavings
until wooly enough to catch hairy fly legs
then hide, watching their webs bounce
with the struggles of prey
who never fail to answer?


Leslie Rzeznik

The Heart of Alice Faye

She never gave her heart away.
Fair prince did not a dragon slay
for the hand of Alice Faye.

You might think he’d swept her off her feet,
laid her on a crisp white sheet.
Startled so – she could not speak.

His hand tender upon her breast
felt the lumps that did infest –
the ones missed by her doctor’s tests.

You almost saw her blush at this
as if instead he’d placed a kiss
within a bed of marital bliss.

He traced a scar to her pelvic mound.
Later deep beneath he’d sound
a cavern never child-bound.

In modesty she’d lived her life –
neither mother nor a wife.
Now silently she serves the knife.

He holds her heart – still – in his hand,
sets it gently in the pan,
records “700 grams.”


Leslie Rzeznik

Tracing the Outlines of Ghosts

We’re our own ancestors – courted by swarms of pollen on rivers of amber honey
– excerpt from hymn to the bee goddess austėja

He takes the glass from my hand,
interlaces his fingers with the berryvodka
sweat, tongues the fallen honeydrop from my blouse.
The mattress reeks, though the straw is fresh.

Fuck my body, not my mind,

he begs against my temple,
kissing the hollow behind my ear–
my pulse like a smoking hive.

We draw the moon
through bleached shutters,
pierced hearts reflected

on his calf, my shoulder.
Earthy, raw – his goaty
smell clings to my chin.

I’m done tracing the outlines of ghosts

he says

finished with rusty voices,
dusty footfalls.

Firesmoke drones before muted
laughter. He zips his jeans, tucks
the sheet around me, rubs his thumb
across my cheek, tastes his salty
fingerprint. I’m careful not to stir
as he eases the ring from my finger.


Leslie Rzeznik