Caryn Lazzuri

Two Prose Poems

Volume 14:4, Fall 2013
Prose Poem Issue

Mission One

A mountain shelter in the laurel. Tangled branches overhead and hail. Big purple blossoms in her hair. We do everything barefoot, me on top of her and the wildcats at the edge, urging us to jump. We bare our teeth to look more ursine, stick our hands deep into the honey. My love, her heart goes cold overnight, the sky backlit and disaffected. I trace the flame, so familiar, on all the walls of our cave. We make shelter. Keep watch. I pull her feet into the curve of me. I am belly and hip. I press hands to her lips. I have drawn the fire on my forearm so many times it begins to burn.


Mission Three

He drives the steel right through me, its whistling engine, the rails clanging. I feel the vibration where I sit, tonguing me like a husband, a lapdog. I don’t do this in public, tip my head back, close my eyes, feel every edge of my body alive. But I could have died last night, stranger in the alley pressed against me something hard and cold. The noise of my own blood, my sour mouth opening. A round little nothing. And now this morning I hold my life like a bowl, riding its edge with my tongue. How it feels. Hard-lipped. Smooth. My hands cool, dry, and the sun rising beyond the bridge like a broken yolk.


Caryn Lazzuri is Exhibitions Manager at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Her poetry broadside, "F is for Forgiveness," was published in December 2013 by Rye House Press. She writes occasional articles for Culinate and Museum. Lazzuri earned an MFA from Emerson College and currently lives in Baltimore where she splits her time between art and books.