about the author

Amanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance Publishing. Her works have appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Stirring, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, Glamour, Elle, Parenting, and Artful Blogging. She is the author of two poetry collections, Hurricane Mouth (NightBallet Press 2014) and her co-authored split book, I Eat Crow (Words Dance 2014). She is currently working on a collection titled, “Raised on Pop Songs.” She likes poems that bloody her mouth just to kiss it clean. Connect with her at amandaoaks.com.

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Two Poems 

Amanda Oaks

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Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Heart, feral. Heart always getting carried away. Heart, delirious. Heart, blotto. Heart always out of its fuckin’ mind. Heart on a two-week bender too sad to stop. Heart on blast. Heart always on blast. Heart full of screws, all loose. Heart full of love, all spent. Heart, tight. Heart, packed suitcase. Heart, standing room only. Heart watches the room hold its breath, hold in its gut, hold it all. Heart a beast with too many teeth, all bite & tongue sharp. Heart, gorge. Heart, canyon. Heart cram it all in its mouth. Heart birdcage & coffin. Heart hollow out everything that loves it. Heart take & take & take until it’s too full to beat. Heart love until there is no love left.

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Brush Burn

Sometimes your inner dialogue resembles raindrops
snaking across a car window on a slow afternoon in June.
The treetops disappear into the sky, fog drips from their limbs
& slides down your leg into the gutter of your mind that drives you
to pull off your skin like a cardigan, roll down the window
& chuck it out.

         We swerve.

        You take my hand & we’re running through a field
      & the grass is high, it’s ripping through our bare legs
    & we’re tripping every ten steps & you push me to the ground
  to kiss me. You take my hand & we’re dancing wild
to the record player in the dining room of the house
that your mother left you when she died. You take my hand
& a camera & we’re filming the way it must feel
to be a bottle of pills always rattling in someone’s heart.
You take my hand & we’re hell-bent on breaking free.
You take my hand & we’re vandals. You take my hand
& we’re armed. You take my hand & we’re dangerous.
You take my hand & we’re lawless & unforgivable.
We felon. We con. We outlaw. We always go too far,
too firm, too fast, slow down, slow down, slow
down, the noose of the land
is still around our necks.

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