Monday, March 28, 2011


The women who love me
tread upon my sleep
and I am awakened
by their coming

one by one, visiting my living
room, arranging themselves
upon furniture, dropping their luggage
and backpacks meant for staying.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How It Happens

A part is not the whole,
but apart from it and merely
a part. The glass filament
is not glass though it reflects
light just the same.

When under a microscope,
the thin thread is a Great Lake shore
in winter when the waves want
for warmth and yet do not freeze,
reflecting the sun upon glassy surfaces
but not sun itself.

Friday, March 25, 2011


An exhaled pause that could
stretch into a week or even years,
a jittery finger on the trigger,
or uneasy as a flag, flapping a single wing,
the color of clouds painted upon a blue canvas. 

We might talk or we might
It all depends
upon the lungs, its inhale
and what is expelled.

© Ami Mattison

For G-Man's Friday Flash 55

Photo courtesy of portobeseno

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Autobiography of Deconstructed Me

Me, circa 1965


was is
was is born
was is born colored
was is born colored named white
was is born colored named white born adopted
was is born colored named white born adopted born girl
was is born colored named white born adopted born girl became am

Wednesday, March 23, 2011






War is the sword we love to live and die for.
War is the lord we pray to kill and fight for.
War is the why we don’t wanna know now.
War is the bind of proud vengeance, its bloody vow.

Want me some war.
Gotta have me some war.
Come on, let’s war.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

November's Child


When you spilled out of me,
the trees were shedding reds and gold,
baring their heads before the gods.

They took you from my naked
arms, bending down as autumn limbs
towards dropped, round fruit.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Purple Dusk

She tended to her African violets, a jeweled 
setting of amethyst among emerald leaves.

Clay pots placed just so in the living room, one
in the kitchen window. When the sun brightened

in summer, she moved them to darker spaces,
pinched the dying petals, and they bloomed

with wild abandon as if sprung from the rich, black soil  
of the mother continent, still undiscovered by white hands.

Friday, March 11, 2011

How to Make a Trophy

Take a child. Call it
a girl. Show her the confines
of your expectations. Expect
the world from her.

Next, color her to perfection.
Paint her lips, dress her in pink.

Now, rend her body
to the fragments
of your desire.

Finally, pour her
into a golden mold.
Every once in awhile,
dust her off.

© Ami Mattison

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It Ain't Over

*My "narrative prose poem" for today's prompt morphed into flash fiction. Thanks to all the one-stoppers who indulge me and take the time to read!

Officially, it was the wiring. But really it was that black, bitter, backstage boil we call coffee, and I never would have spilled it on the frazzled light cord, its spliced rubber casing revealing live wires, if it weren't for Giselle who makes me nervous even when I look at her from the scaffolding above. When she dances, removes one shimmering cloth to reveal a dark thigh and then another to uncover her breasts overflowing from a robin’s egg blue bra adorned with sequins, I come undone, shaking and shimmering like one of her veils—the silvery orange one, flame-colored, heated as my face. And this time I spilled over like my coffee which first just sizzled on the wiring some and tricked out the spotlight, as it winked on and then off and then dimmed and finally dramatically cut just as Gisele cast off her last veil and the audience clapped an unknowing irony.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I clocked my days

I clocked my days with long
pulls from the bottle, each swallow

another second spent on bleary-eyed
yesterdays. I recounted sad,

sad stories, fondling them
as prayer beads, and mumbled lines

of poetry I’d never live
to write. I liked the drunken measure.

Reveled in despair because
the one art I could master
was anguish.

© Ami Mattison

Flickr photo courtesy of simpologist

For G-Man's Friday Flash 55


The sun will not be with us
much longer. The earth turns
our faces towards the suspended
moon—its distance, proof
of how bound we are to molten core.

The sun stays and we move,
a planetary revolution, and yet
the sun seems to betray our longing
for light and warmth.

We believe ourselves abandoned.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011



What separates us are painted
lines, drawn across thick asphalt.

You, standing on a street corner,
your hunger held between both hands
and scrawled across cardboard.

Me, sitting in a car I can’t afford,
listening to NPR, waiting for
the traffic light to change.

Moving coordinates on the map,
we sometimes collide like this—
our paths intersecting along the roadway.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eating Eden

Use your thumbnail to splice
the dimpled skin. Peel away
canary-colored pieces, the soft
white feathered bitterness beneath.

Bite the sour fruit.

Let the juices drip down your chin.
Smack your greedy lips. Spit
the seeds. Eat until it burns
the open cuts of your cuticles.

Feign innocence, and never
admit your forked desire
for blood and lust,
that first bite,

how you do not regret knowing now.

© Ami Mattison

Photo by Tess Kincaid