Amy Alexander

Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope

In all of the versions of this story,
the boy with the blond scruff
looks out at two suns. 

In later editions,
some of the creatures are new.
They stumble against the weight
of an impractical existence,
and I guess we reached that point, too. 

Sometimes, my memory takes one--
a monster who looked like a man,
and places a walking lizard in its place. 

Over time, the lizard becomes
so large, he won’t be able to move.
Later, I will kill him with a chain,
while wearing a tin bikini,
but this is now,
and he is only a man, walking,
sometimes in tawny scales,
but always a wide, leering mouth
and glass eyes that want
in a way that usually disappears with age,
but not always. 

There is argument over which grotesque guy
shot first in the bar,
but we are years later,
and many children have been born who do not wonder
how bad the scoundrels of history might have been,
see only swagger,
and if I tell them about us,
will they believe you hurt me,
or that you were James Dean? 

Because both might be true.
A man is a lizard.*
A man shoots first.*
A man is hot like stones
under multiple desert suns.*               *They are the same man.

Star Wars episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Only in the worm’s belly
was she able to let go. 

Girls who come from violence
find it later,
as their boots sink into some
stomach lining far from home
(home being exploded)
as they are thrown through space. 

Under rocks,
they sense a soft bed
and fall forward.
Then there is acid in the bath,
and they flee,
only to forget the sting-- 

Celebrate the steel bones
that trauma built in them.

Star Wars episode VI: Return of the Jedi

My forest is in me,
I think she would agree. 

I, too, have soft animals there,
and will remove armor
and let my hair drop.

Hanging huts for houses,
every idea or image has one,
and could exist without me,
but are made whole by my tending. 

They sing strange songs in the trees
as best fights worst
in another part of the woods. 

I let them toil with their atomic swords
and know better than to intervene. 

Young women fall in love
and see the world made new. 

After a generation,
the crone watches the wars
start over again
and feels foolish. 

She should have stayed
in the shelter.

Amy Alexander is a word tinkerer and visual artist who lives in Louisiana, but longs for the west. Her work has appeared or will be appearing in Memoir Mixtapes, Riggwelter, A Twist in Time, Three Drops in a Cauldron, and Split Lip Review. Her books, The Legend of the Kettle Daughter and The House You Carry Inside You are forthcoming from The Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2019. Follow her on Twitter @iriemom.