Dawnell Harrison


The reflection of garnets
Darkens in the sullen night

Of your eyes.
Once they were little crushed

Diamonds of light.
Your body is a stream

That leave me holding

Your eyes are winters
Glazed in ice.

The world whitens
Under the ashes
Of your memories.


Memories of my childhood gather
In a great white ball and reveal
Nothing exciting.
Once I wrote away for some
Miscellaneous junk at 12 and
When I got them I was ecstatic
Because the envelope had my
Name of it. Now I was somebody.
I don’t recall all of the contents
Except two huge paper clips that
Were red and blue.
My step-brother, Scott, skateboarded
And played basketball constantly.
My step-dad killed my hamster
Named Teddy when he didn’t care
For it and left it in the garage
In 110 degree weather.
That made me cry. I hated my step-dad
For a while. Apricots littered our
Backyard. My Mother was always
Tanning herself in the backyard and
Reading self-help books.
Nothing really bad ever happened.
I could be wrong.
I am wrong a lot.

Pill heaven

My sister e-mails me again for help.
How much help does a 52-year-old woman
Actually need? Go get some pills sis.
You need them as much as I do.
They are great – all different colors
Of intoxicating calm heaven.
They make me feel like a piece of paper.
I love pills. Don’t knock them until
You’ve been to my pill heaven.


A wintry fever

I feel the chill of winter
In the white marrow of my bones –

A wintry fever.
The cold winds steers through ice

Like an ax to wood.
I lay on the bed,

My pallor as bleached as death –
No respite from the long, wide

Cold of the night.
The love’s run dry but the moon
Cradles me like a great white Madonna.

The decision

Day of mixed snow and rain.
I wait for the newspaper

In my peach-colored robe.
The cat with one eye laps

Its orange paw.
The autumn’s red leaves

Still linger before the earth
Is brushed white by snow.

The cat unsheathes its paws
As the day turns.

I will not clench my fist
At today’s awful weather.


The mountains drop off
Into a sweet whiteness.

My family regards me
As a disappointment –

My sparkles no longer

The train leaves a trail
Of smoke.

All night the night
Has been falling under

A gold-glinted sun.
The marrow of my bones

Hold a stiffness.
The green meadow

Melts my soul.


Love had rode off
Like a horse.

All day I gallop
But all I hear

Are echoes
Of your voice.

I have withered
Under the atrocity

Of red tulips
In my white, sterile

Even the moon is

Eager to drag me
Behind her like

The tides comings
And goings.

Clouds pass and
Dissipate like the

Yearnings of love’s
Merciless pull.

Copyright © 2013 Dawnell Harrison


Dawnell Harrison has been published in over 90 magazines and journals including The Tower Journal, The Endicott Review, Fowl Feathered Review, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Vox Poetica, Queen's Quarterly, The Vein, Word Riot, Iconoclast, Puckerbrush Review, Nerve Cowboy, Mobius, Absinthe: A journal of poetry, and many others.