THREE POEMS – Carly Maria Hubbard

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Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar  on Unsplash

Carly Maria Hubbard earned her BA in Creative Writing from DePaul University. Her poetry has appeared in Crook & Folly, Pentimento, and Hooligan Magazine and her flash fiction in formercactus and Flash Fiction Magazine. She is an accidental one-time winner of the Uptown Poetry Slam and often suspects that the spirit of Lucille Clifton is trying to contact her. Currently, Carly is a poetry reader for Homology Lit. Come play with her on twitter @carly_maria. 

There’s a Decent Happy Hour Down The Street From The Funeral Home


It’s Thursday. I don’t have pearls so

they deck me out in ash, tell the little ones

that’s how you rise, then tie a bell to my
ring finger in case I do— and because it’s

perennially stark, as my mother points
out. They lower my char into earth

paid hands upended. They forget to leave
a coin (certainly two) to appease Pluto, but

they make sure to mark me with a smooth
low white stone that won’t be in the way. Those

who have quit light cigarettes, lead by hands and
mouths to the bar where the real remembering

happens. It’s a good day for bottles and
moonshine and spirits. My father buys

everyone a chilled shot of Crown Royal, and
their faces fracture into smiles at my name and

expiration date, glasses held high, like it’s
Christmas. Tomorrow well intentioned acquaintances

will flock to let out their pent-up sympathies
in casserole. Someone will forget to bring beer,

but today there is plenty in $1 domestics
and 3 for the good stuff, only the best to dribble

down my father’s leg when they take his keys,
tracing an outline on his calf above his mother’s

name in green— he thinks about carving me next
as something antlered and beating and blue.

They keep pouring stories into pint glasses to
ignore June’s stickiness, taking my share,

washing me down until they’re cool. I like
to think I brought a little autumn to the summer,

falling like that.

 

A Coyote Lopes Across the Chicago Parking Lot Where I Wait for a Friend


His tawny eyes
lock onto mine,
his gait unbroken
as he crosses the expanse

of pavement, insisting
on his existence despite
the lack of starlight.
His fur’s matted and

cancer gray, carrying hints
of brown, yellow, red—
some autumn forest
in the ecstatic throes

of a death moan.
And if I wasn’t hitched
by practice, I think
I would like to reach out

and touch it—
stroke him until his coarseness
grew soft beneath my fingers
and they became tangled in it,

welcomed as leaf and bark
and loam. Climb into a thousand
furs and unleash a growled song,
an answer in burred harmony.

Trace his pupils into my gut,
race trees into reality, the kind
of giants that scaffold mountains,
the kind of burial mounds

that weep in thistle.
But he drops my stare when—
somehow— the pavement
ends in a shrub.

He disappears into
that greenness,
leaves me with
the glitch and ceiling

and crust of the city,
where my friend finds me,
staring at a bush
as though it is the very gate

to a place I’ve forgotten
I belonged to.

 

Love Poem

I understood the way
a fawn sees the pavement
as grass, and finds light
equal to shadow. The way
an engine sounds a new
kind of bird song. The way
impact has no time to tell
her otherwise. Now, I also
understand the car. I thought
you should know that.

 

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