Contemporary American Voices

April’s Featured Poet – Lana Bella



Lana Bella-

In the drinking, your body imprints
origami sailboat over the blue night
air. Inside a cylindrical glass of dark
water, your gaze, black and spacious,
flutes the tissued-ridged helm, glazed
the achromatic berth polar to the sky.
With two volant tips of your fingers, 
the glowing hour threaded tinge from
the moonlight, murmuring zipperless
nest of nyctophobia. Albinoni’s Adagio
is the sepulchral song you ache to cello 
as the blood incurves on unforgiving, 
waiting just long enough to infiltrate
the salted wind unfurling like open fist,
tithing from felled alleluias of seraphim.
Dear Suki: The Hague, March 30th,
Mauritshuis Museum, me beneath 
the celestial bulb of fantailed ceiling, 
you held its cheval glass with quiver
flowing from dark painted eyes. Girl
with the Pearl Earring kissed mute
on the wall; gold light fed runnels of
zymogen churned into waking ghost’s 
raw weight. In the absence of time,
we were flesh and bones woven from
chattels poached, dots and timbres of
silence danced with their notes beyond
our conscious etched in acid white.
Dearest Suki: musing of history but 
musing of ourselves, I bowed my spine 
across your sluggish tense in flight, 
feeling gossamer threads brushing up 
against the ridges of my dermis house.
Ophelia. Teach her the trick 
of leaving, of diving into rivers 
in the arms of fish and algae 
bed. Start her with minnows
kibbling stardust from fingers
cracked of ice against shore,
and wild calidore of longhorn
beetles calling fog challenged
the goblin sky to war. At the
splitting of the old boneyard by
the river bend, where a broken
path sighed the silence of where-
withal realms, where no briar
bush nor bridle bell to earmark
passage of home beneath her
scythe-feet, she straddled the
edge as her eyes reached limp
dark of the bay willows, slender
as a thieving drink fed fervent
the parched pelican throat. Tidal
sounds barely above whispers
held her against hush-dappled
stones, animate with corpses of
damselflies that hid the spent
migration of her ankle-deep into
the weight of oft-bare kelp-chimes.
Hers was a silhouette tethered in
liquid aquifer, a quixotic conduit
of stillness hunting for its parable
in name.

Old before the first cypress
on the homestead heaved to
brown, you seethed tendril
nerves through dandelion-
choked fields, maiden-fluted;
an ampersand lined for long-
itude, hollow as interlude in
an omnibus. Fireflies died on
fits of rain, purling, scoured
among the chattels of birds’
shivering wings, as you sped
eyes of pewter fjord over grey
coastal bells. Heavy feet held
in nomadic haunts of traveled
stops and time-shed rhythms,
river-spun a path angling over
the festooned cliffs. All around,
the lupine mist dovetailed with
imagined light; there you stood
shivered underfoot, teased by
notes of old time songs, salted
away in sea washed air, spired
forlorn to lightning’s quick stabs.

A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 300 journals, 2River, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, San Pedro River Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, The Ilanot Review, The Writing Disorder, Third Wednesday, Tipton Poetry Journal, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere, among others. 

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