Dark Lady Poetry - Leah Potyondy




Leah Potyondy


Odd Market

North market, West market—
Toys to hang
And toys to rest.
Crucifixes for street children hanging out
Curbside, looking dazed and murmuring
Latin sonnets for the masses up until the law
Nails them again, begging for
The bullwhips of prophets, likewise hung,
In the secret corners where all the virgins
Hid their pornography before
The inquisition.
South market, East market—
A bridle for a twelve year old boy and boys to match.
Cadavers for marionettes but hey,
We’re all dolls anyway,
Centerpieces for somebody’s mantel and photographs
We have,
But wouldn’t you rather own
The real thing?
Old market, New market,
Look what we have here, my love.
They’re selling your mother’s head half-off and it’s a good deal
Any way you cut it,
A masterpiece in found poetry or a
Tin-foil nightmare to forget once you turn your back
And anyway…
She’ll never see from her crushed-firefly eyes
Who it was
That ruined her princess.
But still, it was me, oh that it was me who took your body,
Revised and cut for sale in East market,
Motherless, fatherless,
And why would you desire to live
As you were? When I could
Remake you, rebuild you, replace your parts
With oddities…
Patchwork daughter,
Beautiful, twisted prince,
Do you know the place where they smash the faces of angels
And lead the damned into paradise?

A Song From the Choir of the Dead

I’ll give you a song
From the ashes of snowflakes,
Corpse-fires for white roses,
The bare bones of the rain.
And I saw you eating his flesh
In the moonlight,
In seraphin twilight,
You kissed your dead son.
Where are you going,
Sweet child of dust?
I can see the clay split from the quartz
Of your lips.
And the mouths of the chorus scream “Alleluia!”
From the rime-rusted river
In the throat of the earth.
(And I’ll give you a song
From the flesh of their sighs,
Altar boys twisted and broken for you…
For I caught you slitting his mask
In the moonlight,
His face in the twilight,
Your lovely dead son.)
So walking on eggshells and butterfly shreds,
You pocket your razors
And wires
And silk.
And you know your boy’s waiting
In the salt and the ice
For your needles to tie off the twine
In his heart.
And I’ll give you a song strung from blood pearls
And lace,
From atropine jade
And the feathers of dusk.
And I saw you ruin a prince
In the moonlight,
In sepulchral twilight,
You loved your dead son.




It chases like butterflies after vodka,
And it chases like vodka after blood,
Like the cadence of a heartbeat pushing impulse
Down nerve-threads
Dilating and cracking across the surfaces
Of eyelids.
And it chases like Alice after the creases that reality left in her skin
When she woke up,
After red and white oblivion,
Like marbles after a downward spiral
And it chases
Like wolves after ravens,
Like hawks after hounds,
Like knives after agony and morning
And mourning
And it chases like black umbrellas over storm clouds while little girls
Hide their faces under thin, shapeless gauze and pretend like they’re crying
Just so they can say
That they cared to stand out in the rain while a priest the color of
The end of the world
Prayed to sobbing deities and laid to rest the broken pieces
Of their mothers
In an infant earth
Still shooting up teeth.
And it chases like memories of pall and memories
Of sex,
Like sex after death,
Like memories running down the groove in the center of a letter opener
Like the sword of King Richard,
Like words and sounds that you know you’ve heard before
In pale voices
Under the bedroom door,
And it chases like blood after honor and it chases
Like ghosts after deacons and it chases
Like liars after dreams, after saints, after rainfall,
Like fools after origami cranes,
Like marble statues playing tag in the garden just before
You blink.






Leah Potyondy is a product of Massachusetts and New Jersey by way of New York State and Japan. She has a BA in Japanese Studies, a webcomic, a terrible sense of humor, and a cat who hates her. She has been writing, in some form or another, since the age of five, and will likely continue to do so until she rolls over and dies. Her poetry has appeared in "The Dream People" and the now (apparently) defunct "Gothic Fairytales for Melancholy Children" under the name "Anyel Alexander Potyondy."