Two Poems: “self-portrait with moving boxes” and “second epistle to a plague saint”

self-portrait with moving boxes

a ship in peril, i jettison
easy: paperback books
and gray sweaters,
the slick television
from my brother.
but also a survivor,
i cling to the wrack
of myself: coke bottle
music box felt
angel dead succulent
typewriter desk lamp
poison ring rose
quartz leather sheath
and small knife pink
book of moon phases
from my mother—
i can dispense
with the plain
and daily
but my artifacts must stay
with me

second epistle to a plague saint

come into my room and stand
at the foot of my bed. every
surface in the house is studded
with arrows. reach first
for the door, the water, the bread.
cover my body with your body.
hold me apart from the world.
by candlelight i'll be your boyish
saint irene and tend the wounds in your thighs
and stomach. your neck like an open cage
and the wild thing in me. in the morning
i'll clean the sheets. we'll start again.
be my wall, my border, my barrier. by night
i'll take you down.

p. hodges adams

p. hodges adams (they/them) is a poet and playwright from a small town in michigan who received their MFA from the university of virginia. they love to write about the body, art, and memory. their work has appeared or is forthcoming in shenandoah, cutbank, sycamore review, new orleans review, december magazine, arkansas international, northwest review, and elsewhere. hopefully they will transform into a beam of sunlight someday soon.