Wednesday 20 April 2016

3 Poems by Nicholas Rianard Goodly

Old Women 

Riding in the limo with grandma and her sisters,
I listened as they filled the car with easy chatter.
Enrobed in navy blue, black
or other drama-tinted skirt suits
and Black Sunday hats,
they compared their pistols,
some with wooden handles,
others were all cold black metal,
a silver or marble-white, perhaps.
Their bags held their bullet powder secrets. 

I was nine years old
and we were leading car loads
of people to God’s home
through sticky, thick mosquito Louisiana.
white-gloved women,
book-leather skinned women,
ready to defend,
even now.
When the car came to a halt in the grey gravel,
so did the casual talk of weaponry. 

Grandma reached into her loaded purse
and pulled out a white handkerchief.
Her romance novel hands took my warm palm,
and placed her tote on her shoulder. 

She stepped into the church
to grandpa’s funeral,
who died of a heart attack. 

Mail-Order Bride: Julie 

His human-sized wooden package waited for him
in the empty corner of his loft.
she’s arrived! in all her glory,
packed in Styrofoam peanuts! 

Her profile: 

I am excited you are concerned about me. I am lucky. I was married eight years ago. My ex-husband died on car accident. After, I was originally lonely. I would like to forget. I am looking for a man who believes in everything. Who a man that listens, watches a full moon. If you are interested in wanted to know more about me, we can whisper. 

With love in his heart,
he grabbed a cro-bar, cracked open the box,
and out leaped a hundred singing grasshoppers. 

How We Sleep at Night 

Our backs like canvases
face each other
as we tug at a blanket
just big enough for two
young and desperately cold bodies. 

The fan hums and clicks
above our heads.
The chill of the evening
numbs my exposed toes.
I sigh,
Oh, God.
He stirs: 

What about God?
Nothing. Sleep. 


Nicholas Goodly is a graduate poetry student at Columbia University. He is the current art editor of Columbia Journal Online and writing editor of WUSSY Magazine . He has also been published in Anamesa Journal and Cactus Heart

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