Misty Harper studied writing in the MFA Creative Writing program of Indiana
University. In 2005, The Poetry Society of America published her chapbook Guarding The
Violins, which was selected by Charles Simic. She currently lives in Atlanta.
Two Poems by Misty Harper
The Difference Between
Often the queen's swollen body
Can weigh more than a regular pencil.
The Queen in public is not supposed to
Leave through the door she came in through.
A road is a road and a street
Is a road that's walked along?
The hand-drawn roadside sign
Hung in front of a small stand
Assured us that FIRE WORKS.
A single gap changes things.
Missing tooth, missing hubcap.
And of course a death any death.
A breach like an empty seat
And the woman beside it keeps
Checking her watch and looking back,
Up the aisle, up both aisles. Her look
Is of the self distrusting its hoping.
Even so it pokes its head through.
Visibly digesting expectation
As a snake will a mouse.
Alone won't stop playing
Alone pretends to be someone
Alone is lo and behold, un-beheld.
Alone will be heading to its beheading
alone. The self’s shelves of rib and shore,
itch and spore, waddle forth,
two people trying to parade as one horse.
The hours knock about inside them.
They cannot move like a horse.
Alone is baloney, is a loan,
a mortgage whose root
that means dead
won’t hide. Dead pledge.
Alone will hem, and haw, and hedge
at itself, a balcony loitering
after the building
["Alone" was first published in Konundrum Engine Literary Review]