It’s a Daisy
Bats twin the skydrowsy from billowing hometo watch Night Court.I, Nikki, as a contemporarywoman, am bound to askwho’s spiraling in the faucet.If you keep no-lye relaxerson your hair past thesuggested time frame,the original crimple patternbecomes more defiant.Memories won’t comfort me.Perhaps it’s best not to trustthe politics of people whohaven’t washed their owndishes in twenty years.O missile management,I request a transfer 4 the massesa happy howling cocktail showinginstead of telling this countryThat. I. Cannot. With. You.A freed daylight may be possible,the revolt in us, I mean. Stemsare still holding like a grown-upbut they snap. You pick me up,pour me another bath, a glassof something dry for the blisters,read Ted Joans’s “hand grenades”remember thatI’m not the only one and cry.
“It’s a Daisy” from WATERBABY: by Nikki Wallschlaeger.
Published by Copper Canyon Press 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Nikki Wallschlaeger.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work has been featured in The Nation, Brick, American Poetry Review, Witness, Kenyon Review, Poetry, and others. She is the author of the full-length collections Houses (Horseless Press, 2015) and Crawlspace (Bloof, 2017) as well as the graphic book I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (2019) from Bloof Books. She is also the author of an artist book called “Operation USA” through the Baltimore based book arts group Container, a project acquired by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Her third collection, Waterbaby, is out from Copper Canyon Press.
“Wallschlaeger’s poems move through complex textures and varied verbal registers, from the ravines of slim, precise lyric, to lakes of reportage and not-so-speculative prose poetry, to the river of song. Waterbaby is a book for this moment, when 'our soul’s bodies are half hanging out all the time;' it’s a scorching indictment as much as a drink for the scorched. The book’s 'manic xennial vulnerability' and lyric genius zoom in on daily lives and details, leaving nothing and no one unseen. These far-reaching poems reveal a broad perspective and horizon where a future America can be glimpsed. Its poetry is already here.”
“Motherhood and family can provide a deep well of inspiration for writers, and Nikki Wallschlaeger’s new collection dives in head-first. Delving into Black womanhood, the postpartum body, and what it means to sustain love and warmth, Wallschlaeger’s work is unflinching in its honesty. It is about darkness and hope, struggle and survival, sinking and floating.”