“When I Must Take You Home” by Victoria Hunter

I look past the people
who look in our bus window.
I look beyond the bus driver,
to the small red speck of light
that develops like blood as it grows.

I hear loose iron crank, ready to fall apart
like the legs of an old person,
and then a screech, as they are restrained
against the over-salted road.

I smell old grease from fried chicken
and the faint foul blends of sweat
in poor labor work
and sheds of old homeless skin.

I feel a touch of spring, not yet entirely grown
I turn to you, shake you just a little,
like the fall morning,
when you first open the front door
and I say, “Wake up, wake up, we’re home,
this is where we get off,
and you stagger to your feet,
like a baby after falling,
grasping at bars and arms,
that aren’t there.

“When I Must Take You Home” first appeared in Writers and Readers

Victoria Hunter is from Pennsylvania and loves to write, read, and travel. She was a nominee for the 2020 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She has received awards from online writing communities and has completed various writing courses. Her poem above, “When I Must Take You Home,” placed in the 2020 Poetry Super Highway Contest. Her work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Sparks of Calliope, The Stray Branch, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Black Telephone, and Down in the Dirt, among others.

“A Response From A Killer Of Coral” by Victoria Hunter

The thing came green like kale 
I’ve needed to toss out for days–and bought on sale
and removed edges browning 
and bent in with the texture like tips of my dead kinky hair. 

The thing came like ideas have to my mind,
when I have drunk so much
I could have been Charles Bukowski
on a day he spent fighting off
the shadows of beatings he got from his father.

I admit—I did what many of our species
have done to our own, 
and to a heart we’ve helped become what it is today.
I quickly picked a way to get rid of it,
like we do of a harsh tearing sound 
when we need back in dreamland.
What I did was put it in super hot water
and watched it be devoured.

What part of it went in it first never mattered. 
Sometimes, I think I know how it felt 
when it went in, as I remember my friend’s face
as we went into the courtroom for his divorce. 

There was never a moment
I almost decided not to do it;
another killer in the world can say the same.
It could be in this room right now, 
grinning with its mask off, yet nobody sees it.

And why should I regret sending it to its death?
My own skin has done it 
to skin it made become, it’s bathed and fed. 
The sickening threat it put into the atmosphere, to defend itself, 
was no worse than what my own skin has put in my life.

Victoria Hunter is from Pennsylvania and was a Pushcart Nominee for 2020 and was also nominated for Best Of The Net for 2020. She has completed various courses in writing, including poetry classes at IOWA University Online, and at The Poetry Kit Online.  Her work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Poetry And Fiction Journal, Sparks of Calliope, Writing In A Woman’s Voice, Online Blog, Black Telephone Magazine, The Writers and Readers Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Conceit Print Magazine, Amulet Magazine, WordFest Anthology, and others. She manages a YouTube Channel dedicated to the craft of poetry.