C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

ELEGY FOR MY TWENTIES

By: A. L. Biltucci


There is little evidence of your existence,

though I’m in my thirties, so you must have happened.

An unseen force stole you,

as did capsules I shook like rattles,

little bullets that traveled through my brain

to heave me out of depression.


I remember dropping out of graduate school,

then a flurry, then a storm. A fog-filled laceration.

A repetitive falling into a grave—moss at my toes,

sunflowers at my fingertips.

Wild mind. Wild mind. Wild mind.

Terrifying fantasies of driving off cliffs—

the acrid reek of the gas inside airbags,

breathlessness of crushed ribs.


An old barn owl’s scream tried to wake me.

But the honeybees were all dead. The crops—

all dead, except corn and big-bellied spiders that hid

in fields of it. A Rottweiler ate corn silk and cow placenta.

There was no birthing of images,

no life for fiction, no kinetic flickers for poetry. Only

the grind of bone under boulder.

None of the medications worked,

but their side effects did.


My parents gave me a Chihuahua puppy

to help me see outside my self. I remember

her puppy smell: sour and sugar—

a cup of cranberry tea, maybe butterscotch pudding.

She died of cancer, and I carry her in my chest.


I caught a chicken in a butterfly net, stowed it under an arm.

Carried it like a loaf of bread. Carried it like a prize.

Wild mind. Wild mind. Wild mind.

Still, I have a wild mind.

Those years, now two leafless trees

razored into wrists and the shriek of a fox on a hill.




A. L. Biltucci is a PhD student studying English and Creative Writing at Binghamton University. Her work has appeared in Blueline, Written River, and Narrative Northeast.