Washington Square Review

Bianca Stone

Two Poems by Bianca Stone

Turn of the Century


At the turn of the century aviation went wild.
In the human psyche we went
like Daedalus
to beat the heads of seagulls against a wall
and pluck their magical bodies
so that we might delicately glue and sew
something to get us off the island.
All those flying machines that crashed off of precipices
like Wile E. Coyote, super genius—down,
down into a white puff of smoke!
And how terribly beautiful
that art can kill. That death, even, is wrapped up,
always, in art's existence.
As a child when I touched a butterfly or a moth
I thought the powder that came off on my fingers
was what made them fly.
So I was running off the porch roof with
silver dust like confectionary sugar on my fingers—
but Fuck You the sky said
spinning around my head, my skull
enlightened as a kitten on the big screen. 
It's so easy, almost too easy to fall. It's hard
to be patient. To make something
with your hands that will save your life.
That will waltz with death.


Death Theory


When people die we can finally love them
how we want to love them.
Like how when our dog runs away
we realize how every day we got up
in the freezing darkness to let it out
into the front yard. It wasn't much.
But we remember the shivering
and the steam rising from the ground.

When people die their odor lingers
only for a week or two in our hair. But then
we get out of bed with death
and leave silently before death wakes up.
Light speed is what our hearts move at.
Backward in time. At a crushing, impossible speed.
What I mean is, we can love them uninhibited
by their shortcomings and, possibly,
their brutality. Love them how we wish
we had. But still this is going to mean
we're carrying a sack of bones and bedclothes
around on our backs. This means we are all
cheap peddlers of sorrow.