2 By Lena Drake

After Sundown
I saw the sun gulp
its final light, just after
4pm. The day hardly
had a moment to
breathe before it was
gone–like the birds
before machines, owners
of the sky. If the Lord God
Bird could not survive, why
should we?

Nothing flies here
that knows the swift
slap of fear when the
sky falls low. I watched
the poinsettias wither
faster than you, how you
wake (remain) on a machine
long after you’ve slept. How
machines keep you when
I can’t.

A man at Home
Depot guides me
towards the artificial
plants, swearing no one
will know the difference;
more beautiful, anyway,
without age. The birds
will know, as will the sun
once it's lost its reason for
waking. I look (remain) after
flowerless window sills.

Delusion has a maternal instinct.
Dinner is ready--the weather is great--work’s even better--the kids are just fine--we have a trip planned for summer--we haven’t seen that show, all those screens are so, are so--I'm so grateful for, thankful for, lucky to have...

Hunched over a toilet, two women waiting outside--hoping they might be the chosen one--he remembers homemade dinners and the school play, nose as red as his eyes.

They told him to smile as if it would change his insides. As if his insides weren't the thing that needed to be changed for him to smile.

He's tired, but destruction never sleeps. She leaves him boxes around the room, tiny, neat, empty parcels. The meaning can be found in yesterday's leftovers.

His hunger runs deep and regret is a tightrope; step by step, foot by foot, he moves as though the earth is not gutted beneath him.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away and you should never nap too late in the afternoon. He keeps his eyes on these facts, but you've got to be careful with facts--they come awfully close to the truth. And truth is just the earth (gutted) beneath you.

Eyes open, mind shut; the only thing worse than seeing is believing.

I've met delusion, she has a maternal instinct. She'll wrap you up and lay you down, reminding you life is easier when your eyes are closed.

Lena Drake is an actress and writer with a BFA: Theater from the University of Michigan. She studied Scriptwriting at Oxford University before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her career in TV and film. Lena’s poetry can be found on www.empressindignant.com and you can learn more about her upcoming film and TV projects on Instagram and Twitter @Lena_Drake.