Two Poems

Carolann Madden

I saw
in the sliver-moon’s
half light
                                  the cactus
                                  of his body
planted deep
in the desert
washed white
                                  by the gypsum
                                  I walked steep
steps down canyons
                  round boulders
                  and dug it out
by the root
took it home
took it
to bed
I didn’t care
                                  if my skin scarred
                                  from its spines
                  I wanted it so
I took it home.


you get one
plum heart
one long
breath at death
one first
bowl of camellias
one hottest cup
of Moroccan mint
one pull off
cigarette one
last hit with
a closed fist
you get one
best winter
soup one best
ocean day one
night of watching
burning paper
lanterns float
high in prayer
for your sister
you get one first
one last one beloved
blanket handmade
for your birthday
by a girl you
once loved you
get one finger
tracing your clavicle
in the Cloisters
you get one perfect
goodbye in
the Cloisters
but you get
as many husbands
as you need

Carolann Madden is a Navy brat who grew up primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Texas Panhandle. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Town Creek Poetry, Cactus Heart, Women in Clothes (Penguin, 2014), Souvenir, and elsewhere. She obsessed with languages, is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston, and is a co-founding editor for Locked Horn Press.