A four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net, & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016). Lana's poetry and fiction has been featured in over 500 journals, including Acentos Review, Barzakh, EVENT, The Fortnightly Review, Ilanot Review, New Reader, Notre Dame Review, Rock & Sling, The Stillwater Review, Sundress Publications, & Whiskey Island and Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3.
Self-portrait of Our Name
Sometimes our name sounds like
rice and tastes anything more
it would have meant hurt.
When I was fifteen, I watched
the bend of my mother’s prayers
suffering with my newly born
curves, flowering somewhere soft
I thought of her then leaving too
much sky in the wild north of dawn,
wearing bone that fell midway
down the paddy, clutching vegetal
curls heady on the stalks, fore-
head pressed to damp as my once
great escapades from home.
Wiped sweat onto skirt pleats, I
lodged back on old nocturnes held
in the gut by life, plummet of sun
took the long, slow curve into
the bottom of rice field where a girl
walked this land before, lifting
hemlines as to know what seeing
was about her ankles and hips.
Yet things I reached for long ago
seemed too far now. Lately, a body
of my own shaping felt more in
the way of someone else’s storm,
how I born to my mother as a girl of
magic but I was with it frightened
of the moon, and how there was
nothing like the memory of us that
can’t leave me the same, feeling
every cut that won’t close.