Two Poems by Chelsea Fanning

Gumball Machine

Standing red and erect in the drugstore
window, still more than half-
full of rainbow, I wait for

bright quarters, anticipating
the click of metal on metal,
slow turn and crank before
release –

another candy-coated piece
ceded to a stranger.

The Color Thief Returns
After Ai

I hike up mud-stained skirts and throw
a plump red leg over your windowsill.
Remember when you were young
with cheeks like pink seashells?

Now each wrinkle deepens to brown
as it folds and the light bulbs in your tits
blink on and off. Still,
you must have something –

some piece of silver filling or jasper
in your eye. I pry open your ribs
and rub your blue-violet heart
between thumb and forefinger, then trail

a yellow nail along your rusting arteries.
Between your legs an ember glows,
casting shadows on my purple face.
Yes, here is something worth the taking.

I snatch the scarlet sex, warm and wet, and leave
a tinderbox in its place. For countless nights
you’ll scrape the canary head against the steel,
trying hard to strike a match.

Chelsea Fanning is a writer, poet, editor, feminist, witch from New Jersey. She has an MFA from Drew University and is the poetry editor at Fatal Flaw Magazine. Previous work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nourish Poetry, From Whispers to Roars, and Cauldron Anthology. Her poetry delves into themes of redefinition, reclamation, wholeness, muchness, womanhood, religion, identity, gender, rebirth, and regeneration. IG: @chelscfan
Preview image by K. Haskell, an interdisciplinary visual artist, draftsperson, and illustrator.