Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

Natalie Briggs

Five Poems

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walk around the room until

the sun rises

expect to see my face in the mirror that you moved

last week

I try to take love up

out of these words

it stays, won’t move away

from the night you told me you didn’t trust nuns

voice hanging

like brass ornaments around your head

gestures carrying us towards

a storied death

the punch line is

I don’t know what you want

the punch line isn’t long enough

to mention that

ten years ago I became a table

you made in your workshop

my well earned self

still residing along the edges


ve got a plan for when the world

empties itself out into me

counting the coins on our bedroom floor

listing tasks

from the dead center of love

earth the ghost inventing

my body keyhole

the world is a balloon

stretched over nothing left

muscles full of sea life and whatever else

this planet hides in us

I’ll listen to you shower

an hour of another word for water

falling onto another word for tiles

I’ll paint you and call it Sea Urchins

there will be missing colors

there will be how

you loved this town, low and old

I could take you in again

like a moth in my mouth

beating grey and damp

I am willing to eat your false body

from then on, in any mirror

my own limbs would surprise me

anxiety becoming the desire

to pull my teeth out by the each

tongue the sockets

while I shine

them into jewelry

singing, let’s ruin heaven

because nobody loves everything


we can’t wrap lead bandages around each other

their weight would take us plummeting into the earth

into its other center, the one that isn’t your eyes

and my wish to excavate the new metals I see in them


your smile is still studded with teeth

the further I get from wanting to nail myself

to you like a crucifix, the shinier the spit looks

in this house with its’ five bedroom tombs

I spend the days telling the raptors

who come for my love, not now

they’re dressed up like priests

giving daily bread, circling like gods

dreaming up my future flesh

dreaming up its riches

don’t they see how this body

tethers good to itself

how above us clouds are thickening

the wind will be here soon, fast after us

with revolting promise, frightening

the wingless into flight

turning the women over in their sand graves


prefer the hunt, or the silence after

this home allows me to become one of is belongings

I never had to ask the walls to desire me, but there I am

nailed above the mantle like a painting

done by someone who lives very far away now

someone who treats time like a letter

they address but do not send

and the other poems are carrying flowers

or howling at what is outside of the poet

while I began the thorough divide

of like and like images, it left me standing

on 59th and the trains passing entirely into image

entirely for the alter of hallucination

Natalie Briggs

Natalie Briggs grew up in Australia and has been living in Portland, OR for the past few years. Her work has appeared in Lexicon Polaroid, JerkPoet, and PANK. A graduate of the IPRC Poetry Program, she is the author of the self published chapbook, The Burial Is Polite.