Laudanum and The Monster, Laurie Byro


          Miracles Happen, Tim Timmerman
(ink, watercolor, and gouache, 8″x8″)


Laudanum and The Monster



Of course I was there to talk her through,
I loved her and she loved me.
We were scattered all over the field
behind her room, madly in bloom, bursting
up half-concealed in faith, self-made—
she’d rush at me after work, released after long hours
where I grew stronger seeking the light, all renewal,
broken up until she found me. Scattered, she joins me
to her sewing needle—my withered head,
just an achy-sweet tempered beast—
to her needle, pierced through as she sings lullabies
to cherubim and I become her, soon, a small-glazed
crock, she sorts me out. I sweat, the droplets join
the bottle head, the sugar spins me soft to rest
on her tongue. I am more than a brown field barren
through the glass, emptied of flowers. My smooth neck,
all those withered moments, I cover her slick tongue
seep through to the outside, lie down on her silky skin
in cool dirt, in blood-red slippery blossoms.


Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?
Milton, Paradise Lost

It’s like an old story. I am already gone. I tunnel

through the dark while our father conjures
filth around me. Mary huddles before their bonfire,
dreaming of her freak. And every day they go

sailing on wine-dark waters. In gibberish I plead,

release me, like a fish into those seas you cannot fathom.
She pieces together skin and sparks that crackle lightning,
that split the forests of Darwin. Impenetrable to love

I slip through the slender ribs of the world. I sew
a scrap of nightmare, paste sloppy edges
to my sister’s stars. I have already crossed over.
She stitches her baby from black-forest skin.

The wolves of summer spill deep into the forest.

I spin light through glass, messages through their planchette.
A promise of oppressive love may soak through
their sticks: I announce myself to him. My lover

is a poppy, her lover is a lightning storm. As my sister

carries angels, I force words through their crystal glass.
My baby’s cry wakes me in the night. I suckle
failure. I knit him from shredded petals.

Laurie Byro
Scroll to Top