Anne Hunley Trisler

Slipshod Confession

I am a sinner
reveling in all pleasures
of my flesh, bad
bad girl.
I celebrate
the here and now,
no thought of someday, after death,
only today. I will eat this doughnut,
I will wait for it,
imagine the crinkly
glaze on my tongue-tip, the sweetness
of my fingers.  
And that man’s rough
lips are next on my list, to
breathe the smell of sweat
and maple bark
and maybe he will
chop down branches just for me
so I can see the dark muscles bold
and hard under the morning sun.
Sipping fine coffee with
dollops of sweetest cream, I lie
in a crimson chaise lounge,
chat with friends about nothing that will
change the world, bask at night
in lavender bubbles.
pray when I remember,
rushing through the thanks and praises
so I can burrow down beneath
the satin sheets,
and hardly ever alone.  
Without confession,
no forgiveness, I know.
But why should I apologize?
Who gave me this tongue,
this ticklish skin,
this open, waiting body?


I have brought the
witches out, they come
slow and hunched
in craggy black.
Their fierce amber eyes
see in me the bad
where others
see only light.

“You toyed
with his heart,”
they say.

I feel the last of
my pure innocence,
a rose-colored robe
harden to a strong
and webby red cloak,
binding me tight
with what I’ve done
Their smiles come,
icy in rough cheeks.

I say that I was good,
my heart big and open
as the summer sky.
“That was your
strength,” they hiss,
jabbing me with
knobby fingers.
“How easy you loved
was a warm red gift
from being
loved always

I say he deserved it,
tell how he hurt me
like no other,
and their sharp
cackles whip me bloody.
“Exactly!” they snap,
“and how many hurts
had he, to be
as he was?”

They turn to the last
of the flaming sun.
The slate and purple
clouds are long
and stretched, lines
of cotton pulled apart.
“You must
add hurt
to the world,” they softly say.

I think
of the wild stallions
of Corolla Beach, hooves
thundering over flat
sodden sand, thick manes
white cornsilk against their
dark golden necks.
I remember
wild speed, the ocean spray
in waterbursts against
their strong legs,
I remember
the neverending sky.

Anne Hunley Trisler is a poet, musician, and songwriter whose work has appeared in Mothering, Struggle, Barbaric Yawp, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Phoenix Literary Arts Magazine, The Iris Review, Glass Mountain, Dash Literary Journal and is forthcoming in Screamin Mamas. A winner of the University of Tennessee's Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing for her poetry and an Eleanora Burke award for her creative nonfiction, she lives in Knoxville, Tennessee and can be reached at apknoxville@aol.com.

JD Thornton