drawing of cat fiddling under the moon

October Poems by Laura Henriksen // drawings by Morgan Võ

A rough bit of fun with 13 figures of fear. Girls haunted by love, parking lots haunted by girls. The air has a verve when the dead rise again, sticky and smelling of oil. Henriksen offers up the final shake of a judge’s wig, showering us with the bugs that live inside.

Black Dog

The law is a white dog and death

is a black dog. My love is a white

stone and my word is at the back

of the freezer. Dinner is at seven

but we’ll never make it. Pursued

while also in hot pursuit, I never

caught my breath again so focused

was I, unbecoming. The night

is a lost frog, the dream is a night

lawn. No god got it more wrong.

You walk in and everyone in the bar

shares a secret but you don’t know

that, my outsider riding time’s

melancholy orange peel, applauding.

When the bell rang all the birds flew

away and when it stopped they

returned. My head is a graveyard

and my home is this meadow. Below

the floorboards, teeth glistening,

patient, I know we die a little

each day, but that’s not enough,

baby, soft black dog, cold country.

I’ll see you in my dreams and

in the morning I won’t remember.

Just pour my coffee and add my

sugar, feel the cup hot in my hands.

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No More Deaths is an advocacy group based in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, United States, that seeks to end the series of fatalities of undocumented immigrants crossing the desert regions near the United States-Mexico border. Volunteers for the organization provide food, water, and medical aid to people crossing the US-Mexico border through the Arizona desert and offer humanitarian aid to people in Mexico who have been deported from the US.