Domestic Dispute

"In the Name of Love" by Aunna Moriarty

Poetry by Betty Bonham Lies Photography by Aunna Moriarty


Domestic Dispute


We’ve gone southwest again,

slipping on red sand,

veined pebbles slide

beneath our furious feet.


The ground is crumbling,

littered with shed skins,

small fissures widen

to a gully I can’t cross and


there on the other side

you stand, glittering and hard.

My venom, even if it could

reach you, would run right off:


this land’s too steep for me,

the old paralysis sweeps

up my veins, I slump

to sullen stone.


Some day I’ll find

unanswerable defense

like the horned toad

shooting tears of blood.




Nowhere to Hide

Unpredictable, the winds that feed

those fires devouring Santa Barbara:


the anchor on the nightly news reports

erotic winds drive flames


every which way,

without warning or sense,


and I so understand:


when those erotic winds begin to blow,


you have to know it’s inescapable: it’s

unaccountable, it’s


fire, fire, fire, it’s just


one conflagration

piled up on another.


Woman Pecked to Death by Dark Birds

The eyes were the first to go,

next all the soft places that ever

gave her pleasure. They slit the tongue

so everything she said was forked,

then worked on joints: savored the hinges

of the thumbs until she could oppose

no longer; jabbed the knees,

the hip, the ankle bone until she was

immobile; picked out what lies behind

each vertebra. About the flesh, they took

their time, and found it slow and pleasant:

each stab seemed trivial, yet even one

brought bright blood to the surface.


They broached the skull, stripped it

of memory, then thought, and at the last,

desire. When all but consciousness

was gone, the job was done.

They could have let her go then,

but they thought it might be fun

to see if they could keep her pulsing

for awhile. They were surprised

how long she stuck it out.



Poets Bio: For most of my life, I have taught—every age from infants to adults. Poetry is my love, and I’ve published three collections, but also three books of prose. I live in Princeton, NJ, where I belong to the Cool Women Poets and U.S. 1 Poets (the country’s longest-continuing poetry collective.) As the senior poetry editor of U.S. 1 Worksheets, I get the pleasure of meeting many new poetic voices from all over the country

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