Gala Mukomolova

Vasilyssa Has No Familiars

When the dog, which is not your dog, runs out of the house, go after her.
When your yearlong lover tells you a year doesn’t mean that much to her,

accept that not all love has the same wavelength. Remember your mother,
the first night you slept with her in the same bed as an adult and you held

her grief, soaking your sheets through and through. When you cannot bring
your partner to the funeral because there is no partner because your heart is

the ghost that haunts your family, accept aloneness. Accept the wheel that
governs the boat, which is nothing, which is why you sail out until the sky

and water become one color and it is dark where you are.

When a girl licks her thumb and pretends to smudge the mermaid from your
breast, she is a child cursing your heart, spare her. When a girl teaches you

to collect moon light in your hands, it does not mean you must fit your hand
inside of her. You don’t have to get up. You don’t have to eat.

You make the fig with your thumb and ward it off.

When your year-long lover who will not hold your hand in public calls you
too eager, erase eagerness from your heart. Put your phone away.

Take the apple your friend offers you in the dark and run your tongue along
the bite. When they laugh too close to your neck, let them.

When they ask you if your heart is broken, say yes, a little. A bit.

Find the dog. Find the dog, mouth full of feather and blood, cowering. She will
want back in the house. When your partner asks you to choose,

choose yourself. Choose yourself each time and stop crying about it. She will
come, she will bring bottles full of desperate love spells,

half-packed suitcases, a tongue heavy with excuses. It’s ok if that tongue finds
its way inside of you. It’s ok if you go to Target

and buy her a bookshelf and a towel organizer. It’s ok to make a home for
something that is dying. Suffering bird in the grass, you pick her up,

you make a nest of your hands, you give her a name, you break her neck.


Each Prism

I turned a pilot fire down         now my hand rests
                                                       on the stove nothing burns.

Three cabbage leaves soak for the bruise on your back
                      I dream you tell me to go home and stay there.
                      I dream you tell me you are pregnant, you eat corvina drum
                                                                              with your bare hands,
the boy you love laughs at me.

Always a sharp wind knocks on my screen door and there       you aren’t.
                                       One prism refracts street light          the other the moon.

The night does not get better the longer it gets.       Let’s cut its quick       let’s not
                                                  keep stroking       the same dog.
You blame the heat on her. Stop saying don’t say it then saying it.

You love me when I move       stillness scares you.       If love were
what I wanted:       each dream
                                          a waltz     a foxtrot     a constant rotation.

Bound, the rabbit to the headlights rounding the driveway or
                                                                 bound, your body away from mine.

The face of one leaf, wide and green, tendered, it slicks to muscle
                                            on your back for hours     where the pain pulses.

In each prism, a rabbit       knows my name and that’s my secret,
                                                                                         that’s how I sleep.


GALA_MUKOMOLOVAGala Mukomolova received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. You can find her poetry in numerous publications including the Indiana Review, Muzzle, Nailed Magazine, and PANK. Monthly, she transforms into an astrologer called Galactic Rabbit. Lots of people believe in her.




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