two poems

by Danielle Kotrla

The Lord’s Hospital Does Not Meet Sanitation Standards

This building is all white linoleum
And faces that do not fit the conversation.

I am slumped against flecked walls.
There’s a prayer in my ear
But I cannot find it in my throat.

This voice is only mine
When it is screaming.

There is something to be said of finding god
In a funeral home three days
After spitting on the name in a hospital basement.

To bury my mother is nothing
Compared to swallowing newfound faith.

She’s dead, after all
And what is there to process in this?
Shift of thought cannot hold a match
To a set of grey veins and a dead metronome.

How lucky am I, choking on new religion
On the floor of a funeral home—
Once more given three days to find god.

The prayer does not end in amen.
Neither will I.

 

Pop Punk Requiem: A Burial Request

The funeral hymns are so slow.

I told them I wanted a rhythm
That made me seem more alive
Than when I actually was.

I told them to leave god out of it.
They wanted to bury me near a church.
I told them the baptism waters
Would seep right through the soil,
Would suffocate the new life
Right out of the silk.

I told them to invite no one to the wake.
Celebrate my body in solitude—
Use only memory and skepticism
To craft a coffin,
One that stands up to all the hatred
Hardened ground harbors.

I told them that none of these rituals
Mattered to me,
That flowers don’t make a difference
To a cadaver.

The funeral hymns are so slow,
Just like the memories they carry
And the grief they process.

Let us skip to the coda.

Danielle Kotrla is currently a student at the University of North Texas studying English and philosophy. Her work has been featured in the North Texas Review and Sonder Midwest. Her first chapbook, This Is Not an Act of Creation, was recently the winner of Texas Christian University’s second annual chapbook contest.

Artwork by: Claire Loader
A writer and photographer, Claire Loader was born in New Zealand and spent several years in China before moving to County Galway, Ireland. Recently published in Crannóg, Dodging The Rain and Pendora, she spends her days seeking enchantment in ruins. You can find her work here: www.allthefallingstones.com