White Meat

I cut into the overcooked chicken, the blade

of the knife contacting the ceramic underneath.

On my own, I am returned the responsibilities that

I had hoped for.


This specific responsibility, I never

would have imagined to regain.

The riddance of prior supervision has rewarded me

the gift of my independence.


I tie up the garbage bag, just another

responsibility I did not expect to resume.

But even the most mundane of responsibilities

can be a privilege.


–Elizabeth Lacey

So It Goes

Many people are not fond of life.

Heavy smoking is just

a classy way to commit suicide.


Kilgore Trout,

seen in three out of

the fourteen, he finds,

“What is the point of life?”

scrawled on a bathroom stall.

He responds, “To be the eyes

and ears and conscience of

the Creator of the Universe,

you fool.”


Life is no way to treat an animal

-inscribed on Trout’s tombstone.


And what do the birds say?

All they can say about all this:




–Elizabeth Lacey

(inspired by the works of Kurt Vonnegut)

My Father Hands Me a Leaf

I haven’t seen this before.


Green blades armed toward

the sidewalk. Flowers drowned

by sunlight over the rail. My

father hands me a leaf. “This

is lamb’s ear. Feel it.” I rub

the leaf between my

thumb and pointer finger. It’s

quite soft.


–Elizabeth Lacey



Kalacs rises in mixing

bowls under beach towels. Mother

rinses our Easter bread

down the sink from the fakanál

used to stir the dough.

I peer at the neighbors.


mantis perches himself

on the pane. His green body

looks elsewhere and I

join him.

–Elizabeth Lacey


The taste of a pill

dis-solving in-side your mouth,

granules coat-ing tongue.



The sound of a hound

shriek-ing for food bel-ow,

ask-ing for just a taste.



The smell of a trash can

you recently empt-ied,

stink ling-ering with-in.



The sight and even thought

of you com-ing to mind;

that’s what I call



–Elizabeth Lacey

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Prayer For the Springtime

Not the powder snow, not

the greyed sludge, not the

subzero breeze, nor the sparse

sunrays. But, Christ,


bless the resurrection

of spring, which, discounting

the predicted design of

the period, ambushed my mind

with a temperate clime.


Repay me the days

spent with the currency of

my memory and refund my forgetting

the fairness of these degrees.


Father, I bear my bosom

as a busted cage, my heart

untamed against the bars,

claws etching the metal.


I lift to you jagged scars

snipped with rusty scissors,

once left in the kitchen sink

for a little too long.


Bless the self who

still receives the sunlight

as a gift, eagerly tearing

patterned paper encasing the star,

contents exciting.


Bring back to life the girl who

would wade in this day’s winds,

allowing the intake of oxygen

to let her float instead of sink

to the bottom.


God, help me reform my damaged

memories as I think to say


Here we go again.


–Elizabeth Lacey

(inspired by Jericho Brown’s Prayer of the Backhanded)

Terms and Conditions


Until now, now that I’ve reached my twenty first year:

All my attempts to impress the male sex have been criminal:

From initiating proposals to accepting their terms,

I’ve seceded from my expectations.


A cooperative agreement is what they call it:

my current, compliant state.

I’ve known this agreement between the genders goes

Back to one bite of an apple. Some things never change.


Is this who I am? To permit a first kiss

between sips of Keystone?

To submit to a “hey” at three in the morning?

According to this agreement, this is.


I’ve failed to go through the fine print, the very words

that, looking long and hard you read:

“Send nudes.” Somehow, there must be more than this.


There is more. 


This agreement has opened more doors for me, not limited

To the following: my rented bedroom, the back

Of my station wagon, and a boyfriend’s fraternity.


Is this really me? I’ve entered into a contract where

I’m applauded for grasping how light bulbs work and

Where I’m afraid to walk home in a grey sweatshirt.


I’m just staying in this weekend. 


“Want to hang?” he asks.


“Just let me know.”


Read: 12:21 AM.


–Elizabeth Lacey

(inspired by Solmaz Sharif)

Heard From Here

I pull the dirtied string, the window nude,

Stripping left blind higher, faster than right.

Space well-hidden between homes exposes

A tree stuck thin between the house cracks.


Laughter unleashed into streets, hyenas

Howling at the moon from the pavement.

A year ago my laugh was with these above,

Our sound in unison with pitch and tone.


It is a song best sung together. But now

Depression sings the taste of sour grapes.

Here, dried fruit falls from vines onto the floor,

Ants circling around the concord spheres.


I can still hear those laughs from here. Yet

If I push myself, it’s only back to sleep.


–Elizabeth Lacey