The Instruction (& other poems)

by Crystal Valerie Rea

The lacing is on my hip.
Pull tight-
Restrict breathing,
Lattice weaving.

Tenderly thread
Tautly trough
A cry:
with bow.”



Tick tock.
I forgot to disinfect the watch.
Tick tock.
Is her breathing shallow?
Arched back,
passageway hallowed,
Is there anyone here?
Is Elder code for disappeared?
Tick tock.
Are the rooms all empty?
Tick tock
Will you help me?
Tick tock
I hear a wasting has begun
Tick tock.
Criminal negligence we can’t out run-
Where have you gone?
She needs you too.
Tick tock.
It’s not the flu.


The Misconception about Light

It’s not easy being a star.
The one
everyone wants to be shiny,
to light the way,
sit-up on high,
up here, alone.
The judgment, if you falter,
slant a little crooked…
A little more to the left –
ahem, cough, cough.
The one
set aside
for being the smiley one.
No room for your story ever to be sad.
The need to be pristine.
Judged when a crack
or the slightest imperfection
may arise.
you don’t say anything.
What could you possibly have to say?
Your job is to be our light.”
It’s not easy being a selected star.
Sometimes when the bulb runs dim,
you get recast as trash.