Three Poems by Laura Henriksen

Harry Dean Stanton

Sometimes I wonder if
my whole thing is just
to put on a good show
for you. I tell my lions
they can come but only
if they will stay quiet
and straight on. Be good
to her I say so many times
I wonder which word
isn’t making sense.
Stones can sink and
stones can skip. Let’s
go back to before we
were born into this
eternity of Augusts, 
glib subway advertisements,
and damp sandwiches. Even
then we knew, this whole
time we did. A satellite 
crashes over rural England.
When you turn to dust
I’ll water you down
into a paste and
use you for minor
home repairs. If you
are my friend bite
the apple in half
cleanly. Tell me 
what is mine.


No fun, no fun forever, clear 
glass, young honey, river split. 
Gradually we all develop our
own system for what we define 
as gross. For days I just looked
at her wedding pictures. Waves
of mirth and spite overtook me
in turn. Knowing it’s time
to go and actually leaving,
that’s the hard part, or it’s
a hard part, but there are others.
No dream job, yes dream home
but only if it’s a beached houseboat
in Florida, a truck bed in Sedona,
or the mocking laughter of a telepathic
debutante in a church basement.


Thinking of you or thinking about 
you. Laura of Arizona, the motion 
of the angel turning to observe 
the emptying auditorium, or Laura 
about Arizona, under a Dairy Queen 
umbrella in a monsoon during 
monsoon season, lights in the sky 
like spaceships or lights in the sky
from spaceships full of teenagers
coming to take my troubles
away, to make of my feelings
a bouquet and mail it overnight 
to my mom in her garret, her harbor,
her shawl. Is this love? I could ask, 
but if for a question there can be 
no answer, next thing you know 
it’s riddle and you’re winged, 
half woman half cat full moonlight
and is that really where we want 
all this effort to go? Don’t worry 
baby she sings with the radio 
like she means it but remains
careless. I see Jennifer before 
the sunset, laughing and coughing, 
beyond good and evil. She says 
she’ll call me when the party’s over 
but we both know it won’t be.

Laura Henriksen

Laura Henriksen is the author of the chapbooks Agata and Canadian Girlfriends. Her writing can be found in LitHub, The Brooklyn Rail, P-Queue, and elsewhere.

Latest posts by Laura Henriksen (see all)