Turn Off the Lights

Suzanna Best


The tranquilizer in your hand is a garden in my pants.
I sprouted antlers like flowers.

Antlers like flowers, but weapons really.
Yours is a pistil, unloaded.

Last night I threw a boomerang and prayed it would not return.
Your birthday is written into every calendar I forgot to hang.

Who is the anvil and who is the aardvark?
Who is the alpha and who is afraid?

The face is no longer smiling in the marigold paint.
Because we built a house between two homes.

Settling down is a dormant wolf.
You came here sterile.

"L'homme est un loup pour l'homme."
A wolf is not a dog.

My ocean came in waves over your peninsula.
The years ran in rivulets around your lips.

Cerberus is a giant tree.
Count the rings in threes.

The Earth will continue to bury these roots.
But I always carry a shovel.

There was nothing between the machines.
But that they were warm and moving.

Speaking languages from affordable teeth.
I will hide your tongue in the basement.

Because heat rises.
Your love is singeing at the corners.

I can hear it smacking.
I am not your genitals.

I am awake.

Suzanna Best is a Southern transplant residing in Brooklyn Heights and working for a literary agency in Manhattan. Her poetry has been featured in the literary zine Kitty Snacks and won the University of Mississippi's Ella Somerville Award. Currently, she is working on a children's book with visual artist Dabbs Anderson.