letter to sunflower in ink-blood and chlorophyll lowercase is no one’s daughter. like you, she is stem and rind slash and leak. in the ground there was hope, all the water she could drink. she chewed diamonds down there! things get old quick. corollas fold in, the rest falls out. lowercase was someone’s luminary once, wasn’t she? do you know why the razzly- most dazzly skies are so tenebrous? didn’t think so. oh, lonesome butterpelt, oh, pandora of gaping gapes, lowercase could be yours. she could be gussied up and sung to. she could be your babylily, your easter- basket, your teensy pair of eyelet gloves.
the bitter house daddy is a hungry walrus he has awesome tusks and blubber galore daddy wants his goddamn dinner mummy is a crumpled tissue waiting to be thrown out she has a runny nose that never stops running mummy wants to make a nest in the rafters and sleep lowercase loves everyone in the house, even tippy the mean cat she has eyepokey bangs that someone needs to cut lowercase wants mummy to make daddy his goddam dinner daddy calls out daddy calls out louder a grueling silence follows lowercase impales her bottom lip with her two strong buckteeth until she sees christmas
canarycousin lowercase is beginning to write dinky, gerbil hair dinky. every letter no bigger than a sip. oh, little dylan, get out your magnifying glass, and amplify me. make me as grand as a jesus-halo. make me larger than my crappo life.” lowercase has always been big, though she’s much smaller than she used to be. last night, a lady told her when she sees her old shorts they look like a slice of toast, because that’s how small i was back then. lowercase doesn’t have any of her old shorts, but they were bigger than the whole loaf. they were brown and mud-green and husky, not like her cousins that were lemony and chirpy and itty-bitty like a canary. one boring day, when lowercase and her friends were all out back by the birdbath, (no birds in sight), someone in shorts much smaller than hers dared her to knock over the birdbath which was full of wet leaves and twigs, and even sludgy worms, so she did, and it smashed and cracked all over the place. what she didn’t know, was that her father had been spying on her from the kitchen window, probably shocked she had actually gone through with it. he tapped-tapped-tapped on the window pane and all of the bony kids ran including lowercase’s itty-bitty canarycousin in her polliwog-so-teeny-they-could-fit-in-the-slit-of-your-hip-pocket shorts. lowercase, well she just stood there by the remaining stump-of-a-birdbath, and took what she always took for her scraggy friends. now she practices writing really really small so she can cram all of her fat thoughts onto one stinking page.
About the Author
Christine Tierney’s poems and flash fiction have appeared in Fourteen Hills, Poet Lore, PMS, The Tusculum Review, Permafrost, LEVELER, Sugar House Review
and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from The University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writing Program, and a BA in film from Emerson College. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net, a Pushcart Prize, and the Best New Poets Anthology.