Liana Woodward


You swear these fingers

were made to pinch firmly

each crossed & slivered quadrant

to blade-split & turn out fragrant

guts. Seeds tethered to fibers

like balloons on strings

like sperm with tails.

Seeds that pop like hail

on a sidewalk. God

forbid you disobey the fingers

in your own guts. Difficult

to locate this scratching

banquet in your torso

the painted nails squished into fists

who want to feel your fruit

insead of taste it.

Fingers born of digested seeds

who grab at birthday pinks,

globed greens. Flowering stems

that form like the four

quadrants of a human face.

Keep reaching for edible

jewelry to appease ugly thumping.

Organs impatient, tapping

fingers at your body’s table.

Hungry for external pretty

for flesh to match the messy

jam of flesh inside.

Heavy House

Alone with my grief head

my milk mouth

the sofa my silent sister

my nest of frets

take a quiet read

of the room

rooted drought eats

a piñon tree

beetles bite chunks

of the body

needles fall dry

like fingers fluttering

trees trying to breathe


weeping is a labor

like scrubbing sheets

Driving home after graduation, East to West Alameda

I’m expert at celebrating alone

with confetti light in the pits of my windshield, the radio,

chamisa in bloom hot yellow like kitten piss by the guardrail

& my sentimental foot

on the gas negotiating speed.

There is a row of sand barrels at the rapid dead end slope of Calle Nopal

so it’s okay to go down the hill sunset-orange-fast

or crash milk-dipped & high on endings.

Walking across a stage for thick paper

& parties afterward are fake hoops,

mock moons translucent & glued together

like peeling window tint

but even still I feel lucky like a pearl earring

recovered in the backseat

Liana Woodward is a poet from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her MFA from the University of Montana and served as a poetry editor for CutBank literary magazine. Her work has appeared in The West Review, Peach Mag, and is forthcoming elsewhere.