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LeeAnn Olivier

David Bowie Is

In April New York skies are sheets of poplin dipped
in pewter. Acid rain casts a purple sheen on trash bags
skirting the streets, plastic flashing wet as grackles.

They sparkle like falling stars, so I make a wish anyway
and slip inside the Brooklyn Museum, its house of mirrors,
catacombs sprawled out like maps of fungi bubbling

underground. Here I’m a specter creeping through
the Starman’s cerebral sparks, headset caging my brain
in glamour. I left you in Texas to thrash and flail. I left you

in Texas to slip and wail in your own spilled guts, your
animalian anger a caterwaul, a yowl, an ultraviolet
noise that ripped my ribs apart, your fist of love

a hammer above my head. Grief inflates, a lead
balloon in my chest, my limbs liquid metal melting
into the gallery floor. But David Bowie is Lazarus,

is Lucifer, his left eye the horned moon of a black-star
I want to bask in. I’m a speck of space debris dancing
in his velvet vacuum, vespertine and reverent. I’m a

dilettante, a cosmonaut piloting his planet, resurrecting
the spectrum where he saunters and furs, his right eye
earthshine shivering down upon me like the chrome

of a quiet sun, his baritone a crossbreed of croon and snarl
coaxing your poison from my lungs, his flowing coats cinched
in to a wasp waist, leotards lean as cats. David Bowie is

mending the splits in my psyche. You love me, you love me
not. You’re a beast in yogi’s clothing. On the day of your
execution women will kneel and smile. I left you in Texas

to burn and keen, I left you in Texas to cackle and crow.
David Bowie is teaching me that everything changes. Like
the old gods, he is showing me my ship knows where to go.
LeeAnn Olivier is the author of two chapbooks: Doom Loop Wonderland (The Hunger Press, 2021) and Spindle, My Spindle (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016). She holds an MFA from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her poetry has recently appeared in Livina Press, The Missouri Review, Willawaw Journal, and elsewhere. Originally from Louisiana, LeeAnn now teaches English at a college in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a survivor of domestic violence, breast cancer, and an emergency liver transplant. Her forthcoming collection explores the power of nature and the arts in trauma healing.
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