January 1, 2014

Erin Cisney

Electrical Storm

Night clots in blue-black and hums nostalgic,
telephone wires caught by wind snake on walls,
frantic, barely tethered.  I'm obsessed with regrets.

Clouds collide and spark, trees ripple
like sheets under a fan that spins so fast
it rocks back and forth in its plaster socket, 
threatens to buck loose from the ceiling.

Is it raining where you are?  I shake him awake. 
My damp hair is cold, smooth like riverbed stone
sprays in tentacles across his stomach.

In the faceless dark, I'm a chasm, bottomless,
the sky groans on in ominous minor key. 
I want, want unspeakable things, floods, catastrophe.

I’m So Tired

hello brick wall, cratered planet, dusty corners,
28 has been so dull, dead weight,
another box of junk in the attic.

jesus, no one tries anymore,
not like we used to, spit and sparked
with so much trying, lit each other up. 
goodbye impulse, goodbye feathered past.

now spiders wait until the lights go out,
wander up from the basement,
tiptoe politely along the baseboards,
moths beat screens, but softly, barely a whisper 
of summer thrashings.  we drink heavy, 
talk of rain, rust in our sleep.



I was, quite honestly, a disappointment, 
prone to poor decisions, spectacular naiveté,
a slave to the teenage complex 
and I remember the moment I knew you lost faith in me, 
midnight, December of the new millennium,
another year looming with malicious intent.   


The last words you say to your father 
will never be satisfactory in retrospect.  
Keep it simple.


What was it you were whispering?
Middle of the night, somber,
Plotting my future? Drop out?
Teenage mother? Do I miss you?
Guilt ridden or vindictive,
Whatever my reasons,
10 years and I still haven't visited.

The Ropes

Everything I learned was from movies,
Censored, abruptly cutting
From heavy make outs to closed doors,
Morning behind bedroom curtains,
Maybe a close up of a woman's face,
That heavy lidded look like an onslaught of faith,
An O perfect mouth I practiced in the mirror
Timid pin-up poses, tried on sex
Like a girl walking in heels for the first time.

Once we were filed into the auditorium of our junior high
So a man could preach the preciousness of our bodies.
As we squirmed in wooden seats, sweat under our arms,
Foreheads shiny, acne prone, he plucked 
A group of graceless thirteen year olds from the front row, 
Took a single piece of tape, stuck it to an arm of each in turn, 
Said, 'See how it loses its hold with each new person I stick it to?'

Girls, never trust a man that says it won't hurt.
You'll be ripped raw, boys will run 'round this city
With sizable pieces of you in their back pockets. 


Erin Cisney is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania. In addition to being a poet, wife and mother, she enjoys baseball, horror movies and indie rock. Her work has appeared previously in Spry Literary Journal.

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