ARTIFACTS OF WOMANHOOD by Lana Bella

Deliberation by Mario Sanchez Nevado

Deliberation by Mario Sanchez Nevado

ARTIFACTS OF WOMANHOOD

by Lana Bella

this body of sun and moon,
a river of down-flow and shifting roots,
this was my life where
swimming beneath the pelt of obsession
to taste the blistered, salted past
was pressed into pockets of history,

to be one of the enlightened
I must first retain the skin-traveled winters,
rise from hard clay summers
with the things of greased feathers
scaled on my back,
I thought of that early parable when time dressed
in kindness
and mind grew fat
in the artifacts of womanhood–

here I lay translating
a blue-skinned future to a mercurial present,
and all the time I only hoped to empty
myself from within,
like a disease or grief,
like a lousy weather over a downtrodden city,

everything bent
to mimic the cellophane sweep
of the universe,
with their long spines telescoping
toward a single track wearing grooves over earth,
I stood once again, alone,
knowing in cross-ventilation of the now and then
that vertiginously lingered and rescinded
the reportage of my history
over and over,
at the same time–

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A Pushcart nominee, Lana has a diverse work of poetry and fiction published and forthcoming with over 140 journals, including a chapbook with Crisis Chronicles Press (spring 2016), Ann Arbor Review, Chiron Review, Coe Review, Harbinger Asylum, Literary Orphans, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Quarterly, QLRS (Singapore), Taj Mahal Review (India), Sein Und Werden (UK), White Rabbit (Chile) and elsewhere, among others.

Lana resides in the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a wife of a talking-wonder novelist, and a mom of two far-too-clever frolicsome imps.