Poetry: Lane Falcon

Twelve Turns


“What do you want to do with me?”
While slicing an eggplant, phone
clamped to my ear: “What you’ll let me.”

In a parking lot, in a cone
of orange light: “Anything.”


Each night he leaves that letter
I don’t open, passes
my closed bedroom door. I see—

through the split screen of sleep,
my peace plant’s parted leaves

(I have the largest eyes)— each night,
zipped in fleece, his seamless


And the clouds whisper: should we warn her
what comes next?

I don’t think she wants to know,

one says, stretching—


I catch a gypsy cab

and says the driver’s
white-haired cheek: unbuckle

from his body.


What world I need, I see

through the space
between your teeth.


An infant tree
lifts in me.

A leaf needs privacy
and dark— don’t talk,
you’ll desiccate the edge.
Don’t listen either.


Then you arrive. The moon adjusts
its angle. Bare your

wrists— your skin swims
with projections

of backwards-written script. Row me
slow across the sheets.


I lay on my back,
a defunct canon,
old iron snout
aimed at the bedroom
ceiling. He remains

sure as the sky
I can’t shoot.


Can’t drive
or spin dry
the smell of his soap, the small

animal cry
inside the oak
of his body…what did I want

to find?


In a field
off the freeway, fading

beneath the languid
gaze of cattail weeds, I

long for the wheel again.


No real meaning,
the sun undecided,
the painter at the edge
of the pond.


When will you learn?

The lines tangled above me
don’t love, no canopy

will bloom, no hand
will form to sweep me

from gravity.


I wrote “Twelve Turns” in segments over what seemed like an extremely long period of time. As Richard Hugo says, “You owe reality nothing and the truth about your feelings everything.”


At the metLane Falcon is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence College MFA Program. Her work has been published in PANK, Word Riot, 2 River View, and more. She recently received a fellowship award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation in conjunction with the Vermont Studio Center. She lives and works in New York City.