? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 8

Poetry

Lillo Way

Backbend


Looking upside down cumulo
cirrus clouds white on sky blue
linoleum in a backbend drinking water
as I saw a girl do on the talent hour
and knew I could too.

Mother wincing twisting
a nervous wedding ring recalls
the circus family she escaped
wide-eyes me whom she has strained
to train in domestic arts. From here I see

the undersides of things kitchen
table turquoise where legs bend to be screwed in
salmon upholstery pulled and tacked beneath chairs
cabinet bottoms where feathery paint strokes quit early
avocado-green blender rising like a skyscraper.

Ceiling’s a floor as white as a circus tent
carte blanche to all that transpires below and above.
I’ve drunk the water in the paper cup tilted with my teeth.
I rock back and forth to spring upright—sky and clouds
once again below me where they belong.