Poetry: Selections from Serena Eve Richardson

Spirit Orb Sighting 

You spooked a Florida pastor
outwitted the experts
even I saw you floating around today
Someone on a podcast was
dragged home from a walk along
the swamp, their German shepherd
wouldn’t stop barking at the
ball of light through the reeds

The Practical Applications of Stars 

Stick them to the ceiling over the tub
and tell your toddler to look at the
stars, then rinse. It makes it easier in
the warm fog. Sing the lullaby, it helps.
Sprinkle starbrights onto cakes for glimmer.
Get a projector, you can wish in your
room. This will calm all of you, Mom’s okay.
Tonight the moon is trine in Uranus.
Magic wands snap fast, but a star on top
of your tree can be used year after year,
pluck joy from torn tissue paper and pine.
Press gems onto your child’s skin, watch them.
On clear nights, you can sit under eyes and
be meaningless as shadows are to stars.


I look at my death
when I look at proof of you,
beloved beat to
love more than me, the last face
in this life I hope to see.

To Marlene 

You are smaller than I remember, and
you’re not wearing your maroon shirt
or cracking knuckles like you know how to
throw a punch at eleven, but I see through
your quiet brown crepe at the wedding today
straight to your grade school cruelty.
I’d like to call out, “You must be glad to see me
in my gown, I have plenty of clothes now,
much more than when you yelled, ‘Look, Serena’s
poor, she’s wearing the same pants every day!’
You humiliated me in front of the whole class
during a fire drill for laughs, how have you been?”
Music, the yoke sun is setting over ocean.
Me, a slash of red satin that says nothing again.
We all ignore how cruel the vast world must be.
A toast and the night ends, we all fall down
in rich fabrics humorless to children.

My Real Face 

You leave for work, and I put on my face—
my real face.
Funeral face, farewell face
bad-news-palms-over-sockets face
hospital face
bone-puppet-in-practical-clothes face
up-all-night-with-the-baby face
face that never finished that argument
face that thought I was alone
face that spills shadow
into my morning coffee

Serena Eve Richardson is a New Jersey poet, essayist, and singer/songwriter. Her poetry has been most recently published in Louisiana Literature, The Round, Good Works Review, Straight Forward Poetry, Pennsylvania English, Perceptions Magazine, The Rail, and Rubbertop Review. In 2019 she released her debut EP “Some Imaginings” as Cat Cameo, which features poetry that has been transitioned into song. Serena is a fan of live storytelling and performed at the 2019 Philadelphia Podcast Festival with the podcast RISK! She enjoys motorsports and Siljun Dobup, a samurai sword martial art in which she holds a second-degree black belt.


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