Hope Jar. +1 further, by Lana Bella

the subterranean undertow of a hope jar
glowed like mimeographed atoms pressing
upward the carbon sky, in darkness, you
dressed less than what disrobed you, lips
drank all poison from methanol-filled cup,
fingers plucked shoal neurons from winter
freeze—here, where the mouth of flesh had
already congealed by the sudden snowfall
of the season, you carried onyx flights into
madness in its broad-pocket pouch, each
vibration imbued to the quivering blade of
silence in abeyance, swirling all the words
you will ever speak through the coughs of
your feral jaw, breaths trailed out like skin
exhaust, then faded in those bare imprints
from runnels of you—a jar of hope was just
a matter of how patient you put in change
or bullets over time, siphoned through apt
hand or flintlock's muzzle, arranging your
scheming weight back to nickels and dimes—

Fine-Toothed Comb.
Amid pale undergrowth snapping the shoal-
dull millpond, her tooth-combed smile wain-
scotted through his mortar continent, belted
its panels in rust shaded hills. Just the right
bend, wingdust fell tiny molecules on brown
turning leaves, a nest egg of contours lined
the moth-eaten highways. Until she turned
the handle on his asphalt plated glass, eyes
swept and fingers traced the shoreline from
homestead to granite sky. Even before she
vanished at the meridian of his eye, she bit
into the rundown stone houses, teeth picked
clean centuries-old mottled air, cold laughter
flicked weight with Venus fly trap casting the
backyard's sun. Beyond, his heart fell away,
not even his moans of quieting, vaporous and
tendrilled, could reach back to the landscape
that no longer fit for the aches of a worshiper.

A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 250 journals, including California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, the Writing Disorder, and Third Wednesday. She resides in the US, and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.