Bekah Steimel poetry


is a 37-year-old writer living in St. Louis, whose poems have been published globally. Her pastimes include flirting, drinking whiskey and making people unconformable. Find her recent work in literary magazines such as Oddball, FIVE:2:ONE and Crab Fat. Visit www.bekahsteimel.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @BekahSteimel.

 

 

 

 

Slurred

 

My speech is in tatters from
all the shots I’ve taken
my voice is eighty proof and
flammable
I find myself alone under the table
(again)
Since I am the Bartender
I know all my stories
Since I am the Patron
I just want to be left alone

 

 

 

Trick Candles

 

My body is a promise
that will not keep itself
Breaking faith with me
piece by piece
I’m not what I once was
and when I was what I once was
I wasn’t myself then, either
Rotting and blooming concurrently
Trick candles on consecutive birthdays

 

 

 

Certainty

 

You asked how many ledges you needed to jump
for me to hold you in certainty
But, I remember the dream
–You, perched on my rooftop—naked
You had wings
that you spread like your thighs and used
to escape
like you are always spreading your thighs to escape
or at least
remove yourself from me
by digits and degrees
But, I still find myself in your books
an echo never lies
I watched you stumble when you thought that man
was asking about your first love
watched it twice, actually, just to be sure
to hold that moment
in certainty

 

 

 

Death and Other Consequences

 

I vacillate between drunk tank
and think tank
the only lines I compose are those
I’ve teetered on myself
the food taster for my own feast
You’ll love what I live as long as I
live through it
and record it
Giving kicks to those whose feet are frozen
in a fear I have never stood in
Somehow I grew unafraid of death
and other consequences
Somehow I grew less mortal
I prefer an anvil to a parachute
choosing the plummet over the glide
Imagine the mess I will leave behind
when I finally earn the collision
between my vitals
and the dose that tucks them in
But imagine what else I will leave behind
as a parting gift
Fortune teller poems and a guide
on how not to live
if you prize longevity over fiery levity

 

 

 

Set List

 

I’ve got a set list of ambitious wishes
some are too big for the page
some are the page
I dream of a life lived in flames
not yet lit
I dream of my stitched words
unraveling off a stranger’s tongue
I want to hear my broken pieces on airwaves
and in airways
of people who can relate to the shattering
of my mental mirror
to show the low
they are not alone down here
there can be dignity in demons and scars
and everyone wants to peek under the bandage
and glimpse the open wound
I want to de-tangle the stigma of addiction
without grooming romantic delusion
It should not be exalted
as we should not be crucified
In my fantasy, we are all human beings
on level ground
not ladders
In my dream, I burn as a lighthouse
for those lost in waves of shame
and self-destruction
And, my most ambitious wish
is this poem need not exist