On Artillery

Alexa Doran

It’s easy to say this is a path and this is a shore and still be unsure what divides them. So much is a matter of edge. I buy you a drum set. I want you to be loud. Decibels as defense. I watch Youtube drummers: the glimmer of their wrists in the clamor, the shiver of their mallets in the water of their hands. I am making all these plans to keep you buoyant. Adrift on a solar system of rhythm, you son, will ferry past the tentacles of land. And maybe simple pleasures do exist—but in case I am right, in case it is all caterwaul-cockeye-complexity and every good goddamn moment is clogged with a gillion juicy arteries—then (look there! the chisel of the beat, the bedroom you don’t remember, the drumsticks in your fists, the mother I wanted to be) I want you equipped with orchestra pits and drum riffs and anything so soft it slips like a weapon into your hands and drips back out as G Flat.


Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Glass, Mud Season Review, Conduit, and New Delta Review, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at https://aed16e.wixsite.com/alexadoranpoet.