Ashley Toliver


two poems from HOUSKEEPING



Under implied direction the lace steps to honeycomb, turns pictures. From a long-legged
point of view, the line finds an edge to root against. I haven’t left the house in fifteen
days and still like a surface decoration poised in front of the window I stand for
whomever comes snapping the shutters. To hear you speak is one of the finer prisms
hugging the knife-board in secret. Oh, how I wind down like real wool at the hinges,
give off the most natural pill. Light catches a peak on the fold and you hung there, strung
like a lifting bell.

















Nothing beads a blue mouth for surrender like iron. The papers all wax fantastic and
scratch their hands. Mercury blades a rattle raining out for the streetlight to huddle to and
I put curlers in your latest invention. It’s all this heat tossing about I can’t stand but I’m
keeping a stiff upper lip, even if bulging and otherwise. Revolution turns a purr in the
on-again off-again machinery. Where you put your hands at the wheel nothing takes.
Blame visors on the shielding sun, a place you can walk to. Asleep in a shameless lean, I
wander the plane in heavy magnets. Bittersweet on bittersweet.







Ashley Toliver's most recent work can be found in BOMBLog, Design Observer, Caketrain and elimae journals. She splits her time between Portland, OR, and Providence, RI, where she is a second-year MFA candidate at Brown University.

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