poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Winter in Gold River

Catie Rosemurgy
Pretty girl. The weather has knocked her down again
and given her to the lake to wear as a skin.

Why am I always being the weather?
There were days in the winter
when her smile was so lovely I felt
the breathing of my own goodness, 

though it remained fetal and separate.
I was a scavenger who survives

with a sling and stones, but whose god
nonetheless invents the first small bright bird.
And it was like flight to bring food to her lips

with a skeletal hand. But now she will always
be naked and sad. She will be what happens

to lake water that is loved and is also
shallow enough. The thickening, the slowing,
the black blood of it, the chest opened
to reveal the inevitable heart attack.

God, the silence of the chamber
we watch from. What happens to water
that isn't loved? It undergoes processes.

It freezes beside traffic.
But the reaching out to all sides at once,
the wet closing of what was open?
That is a beautiful woman.

So of course I stand and stare, never able
to pinpoint the exact moment I killed her.

From The Stranger Manual. Copyright © 2010 by Catie Rosemurgy. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

From The Stranger Manual. Copyright © 2010 by Catie Rosemurgy. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Catie Rosemurgy

by this poet

poem
The arch in the bridge. The moment of architecture. 
The island where you lost your mother's keys. The photo she sent
of someone who looks like her walking to the point 
where the land becomes reminiscent of dissolving of flesh. 
The trees stamped onto our minds like traumas 
are supposed to be. The frightening
poem
               1

Thank god he stuck his tongue out.
When I was twelve I was in danger 
of taking my body seriously. 
I thought the ache in my nipple was priceless. 
I thought I should stay very still 
and compare it to a button, 
a china saucer, 
a flash in a car side-mirror, 
so I could name the ache either
poem
When I was young, I hid under the porch with a star in my throat.
When I got a little older, my mother opened the cupboard to let the fire out. 

I should’ve known the cliffs meant a coming blankness.
We should’ve noticed the competition growing deadly between the masts and the trees.
The problem wasn’t the