Three Poems by Connie Post

Doing Dishes in the Dark

Maybe your eye is swollen shut
maybe there is no ice left
in the house.
maybe washing dishes
is easier than going to bed

maybe your lip is split
with all the sharp words
you held back

maybe your shadow self
gets the silverware cleaner
than the real you

maybe your brain
has tectonic plates
and you are the only one who knows
when they are shifting

nobody has to know
anything about you

nobody has to know
that you left
the grocery store today
because someone saw you
removing the skin
from an avocado
as if it were your own

nobody has to know
that you are insubordinate
to your own sorrows

nobody has to know
that your dreams
have a half life

all you have to say is
“I enjoy doing menial
tasks in the dark”


Cite your Source

I check Snopes all day
to see if my thoughts are real

I don’t know if
the dilapidated wall
in the periphery of my vision
is real
or just another place
to disappear

I check my sources
to see
if the barbed wire fence
the front of the house
is an actual barrier
or an old shadow
I’ve always known

are my optical illusions
true or false
or just the ink spots
of a mangled life

are the words
coming out of my mouth

am I falling inside
the mirage of my own language

am I
the placebo effect
of someone else’s life


The Descent

Your insomnia
is a maniac
who loves you
only when the moon
is diagnosed
as a hallucination

from down the hall
all the radio stations
play songs with lyrics
that are missing every
other word
this is the only time
they make sense

I want the arrogant sunrise
to forget how I’ve sinned
for the sake of my own syntax

I often pray
for the sun to bleed all over me
I won’t explain this
in my memoir later in life
so pay attention
to the sounds of smothering

pay attention to winter
when it leaves you
to burn your left-over fears
at the stake

and the flames
let them burn
let them burn your life
into the ashes
that descend upon you
appearing in vague patterns
like redemption


Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore, California (2005-2009). Her work has appeared in Calyx, Cutthroat, River Styx, Comstock Review, Slipstream, Spoon River Poetry Review, & Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her awards include the Crab Creek Poetry Prize, Liakoura Award and the Caesura Poetry Award. Her two full length collections “Floodwater” and “Prime Meridian” were published by Glass Lyre Press. Floodwater won the Lyrebird Award and Prime Meridian was named a distinguished favorite in the 2022 Independent Press Awards. Her most recent book “Between Twilight” was released by New York Quarterly Books in 2023.

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