Adele Elise Williams

Misadventures in Hope

The Shar Pei I found
the other day reeked
of skunk or fuel or abuse
and the man I loved
this morning
felt like a sparkly
gun in my hands
and my sister's kids
are too pure are so
sweet but are not jaded
are everything
I hope to stand for.
The Shar Pei bled
petals onto my white shirt
sat in my hug
like a baby boy
sucked on my fingers
like a roasted bone
and asked me to never
take it home again.
And the kids won't last
we all know it
we all know something
terrible is eventually
gonna happen.
My man who sparkles
can also be locked
and loaded
one shiny trigger
away from awol.
An animal a kiddie
a man a sister
live by a code.
The code is hunger
or danger or reproduce.
The code is lonely
or love me or play pretend.

A dingo walked naturally
on two legs
in India this week
and I played the lottery
I made a bet. I bet
that one day I'd marry
that one day I'd matter
that very very soon
someone somewhere
would bleed for nothing
less than my love
for my alive mistakes.
A bird hit the window
this morning begging
for attention
or simply direction
in so much sun
and I hit back
I placed the wren
in my fridge
with water and blueberries
and with the door
wide open I prayed
to Saint Francis for feathered
life and to Saint Anthony
for found power
and the bird's eyes rolled
forward
it took two breaths in
one breath out
it took a blueberry
right into its beak and flew
into the window again
this time for real forever.

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Adele Elise Williams is a writer who gets really pumped about apocrypha, ugly feelings and outsider art. Her work can be found or forthcoming in Tammy, Split Lip Magazine, The Adroit Journal, Quarterly West, SAND, Beloit Poetry Journal and elsewhere. Her current goings-on can be found at adeleelisewilliams.com.