Laura Grafham:
Three Poems

To the Person in the Doorway

Tonight you look lovely,
   your stance by the door,
ringlets walking round unsuspecting freckles
that didn't know but to attach to your face.

Structure you have,
the iambic lines of your body
carry you up and firm,
straight and strong
   the shutters to your blue
   eyes close their blinds sometimes;
 open for a few

close shut
the curl upwards of a brown lash or two,
the brow rippling sand dunes,
making the dotted waves of your ginger skin
unsettling, earth shattering. Quaking, though

I just said hello.


I haven't had a sip. I see steam.
Not yet. Until I do
I flirt at the wide eyed little girl,
hand in her pink mouth,
sneakers pointing up from the floor
and out the foggy windows.

Her sneakers have shark teeth on them.
She's cooler than I am.
I don't know why but
the american poetry I read
and the Neil Young they play
are better early in the day;

I read places I haven't been
into rolling scapes
invading the little shop,
crowding red-eye patrons against walls,
the breezy dry grasses doing their thing
in front of me.

The barista with his tribal tattoo
changes the CD and goodbye:
John Wayne and Neil Young vanish.
Now Bjork complains through the speakers.
Icelandic whining and piled high black
hairdos do music. The people grunt disgruntle.
I note the nearest exits.


I like my land made
not of fire and ice
but of rain and fog
made of misty fabric
that evaporates when it turns corners

A place with piles of wet paperbacks that can't sell
with old Norwegians and Swedes in sweaters
where I can kiss your chapped lower lip,
lick up the blood I made.

I like the land to eke outward,
expanding from the earth's core
up and in, out
eating us up because it can,
not because we want it to. 

If I Could Inspire Jealousy

hey, up there, see that yellow light in the window;
it is he who tells the story
the story of the bear and kai-oat-ee
taking the grain at harvest time.

All of our friends came
to the fireside,
see, and they all gathered round,
told me how much they loved your ways

they loved the way your words made magic
at twilight, among the searchlights
and the birthday of your city.
I don't drink beer to escape

but to get it up, get the story up
get the grasses up and active, working.
If my hair were sage brush
damn, would it smell good,

and men would love me, and women would envy,
want my wampum bracelets and belts.

Laura Grafham is a senior English Literature major at Seattle Pacific University. She has published in her school's student-run arts journal Lingua, of which she now is a staff member. Currently, Laura is writing her senior thesis on Leslie Silko’s novel Ceremony. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest all her life, and having worked as a bartender and waitress on Orcas Island in the San Juans, she dreams of climbing mountains in the Rockies. Laura is currently applying to MA programs in the Mountain Time Zone. See graciethebum.blogspot.com for more poetry and nonfiction excerpts.  

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