Aleathia Drehmer was once the editor and creator of Durable Goods and In Between Altered States, co-editor of Full of Crow and Zygote in My Coffee. Her work has been published in print and online since 2006. Her most recent work can be seen in Heroin Love Songs, Fragmented Lines, South Shore Review, Ambrosial Literary Garland, and The Red Penguin Collective. She is currently editing her first novel, Resistance, and chipping away at the second novel, The Hunted & The Hidden. Aleathia’s love of poetry is ongoing. You can visit her author page at www.aleathiadrehmer.com
Two Hands, One Pocket
A young man reads a poem about whale watching off the coast of Mendocino. His world filled with tenderness that already overtakes the wonders of the ocean. He spoke of two hands sharing one pocket, and I wanted to cry. Maybe because I have someone who would love me like this, or maybe because I don't know how to accept it. My trust has been tied up in knots by nimble sailors and pirates, all of them wanting to lash me to the mast at high seas; to watch as the salted wind cut lines across my face. Some part of me was willing to take their scraps of love like a gull as the ropes tightened around my chest. These days I stick to the woods and get dizzy on the smell of pine and mushrooms, fall madly in love with the mud caked to my boots. I collect pebbles and acorns now, instead of shells and sea glass. The woods holds the ghost of my father, the ponds ripe with trout, my mother, and every bird sings to me the sweetness of the man who would give me everything But sometimes, the ocean calls like a siren who I’ve learned to ignore, wrapped in leaves instead. I can’t go to the beach anymore, the sun with it's poison rays and the sound of the tide that subdues me into pliability. The water is too seductive, and the expanse of the universe so evident above and below that I almost see myself in it. When my heart aches for the darkness, I listen to recordings of oceans and tides at night, and find dreams in the way the water licks the shore, pulling me so far under that I remember how easy it is to drown.
This Year We Have a Solstice Bush
(after Jason Fisk)
I can tell you over sharing is from being poor, from being a floating island in the river of responsibility our parents didn't know how to navigate. The want to belong to another human in some small, but significant way, to make you feel whole for just a moment, is deafening. The failed understanding of hope and forgiveness drags the soul to extremes to return something lost long ago that it’s hard to remember the space it occupied. Age cuts away the wonder so deeply it almost steals your breath, yet it clings, hangs on by one strand of silver, shining tinsel. And then, we are given the chance to rebuild a shattered life with the spark appearing in the tiny faces we’ve created with hubris, giving us one more chance to get it right.