Still Life

once, I imagined a scream come to life
cut from the throat
you swore lavender.

the purple of your lips
dried up in a song
I heard the weeping, I heard the light bulbs
throbbing in your chest.

I felt your yawn
saying farewell
the plastic caught in light.

and when you brought me sleeping birds
I thought sky, sky.

the dust, the dress, the hair
dripping down your shoulder

here, we will never sleep
what will you do with your eyes?


Anhvu Buchanan‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in 580 Split, Boston Literary Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Cream City Review, Denver Syntax, Gulf Stream Magazine, La Fovea, Parthenon West Review, The Minnesota Review, William and Mary Review, word for/ word, and ZYZZYVA. In 2006, he was the inaugural recipient of the Steger Award, Virginia Tech’s undergraduate poetry award. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University where he served as the poetry editor of Fourteen Hills Literary Magazine. He currently curates the Living Room Reading Series and teaches writing for WritersCorps in San Francisco.

This poem is from his manuscript on Psychological Disorders entitled The Disorder Index which was awarded the 2010 Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: