(disambiguation of miriam)

In 2017 activists strung up wedding dresses between the palm trees along Beirut’s seafront protesting a law allowing a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim.

 

unlike eyes, the ears don’t shut when sleep treads in

unlike eye the ear dont sh when sleep tread sin

unlike eyes, the ears hunt din

 

ik eyes, the ears do read

au ai / inept / little pain

u lied / yes,

keyed shut / yes,

keyed shut we slept red

 

lithe earth whelp

u lied

ears shut in

years n’t

years n’t

More by Carolina Ebeid

There Is a Devil Inside Me

           —After Ana Mendieta
 
Did you carry around the matin star? Did you hold
forest-fire in one hand? Would you wake to radiate,
shimmer, gleam lucero-light? Through the morning
 
would you measure the wingspan of an idea taking off—
& by night would you read by the light of your own torso?
 
Did you hear through the curtains a voice, through folds &
folds of fabric a lowdown voice—How are you fallen
from—How are you cut down to the ground?

                                                *

Would gunpowder flash up in the other hand?
Were you the most beautiful of them—the most beauty,
full bew, teful, bu wtie, full be out, i full, btfl?
 
Did the sky flutter & flower like bridal
shrouds? Did a dog rise in the East in it?
Did a wolf set in the West? Were they a thirsty pair?
 
And was there a meadow? How many flowers to pick?
And when no flowers, were you gathering bone chips
& feathers & mud? Was music a circle that spun?
 
                                                *

Did you spin it in reverse? Was your singing a rushlight,
pyre light, a conflagration of dragonflies rushing out
from your fire-throat? Did you lie down in the snow?
 
Did it soften & thaw into a pool of your shape? 
Did you whisper to the graven thing, whisper a many
 
lowdown phrase: How are you fallen              	my btfl? 
 
Would they trek closer, the animals? A grand iridium
thirst, each arriving with their soft velour
mouths to drink your silhouette? 

Dead Dead Darlings

One sentence held the echoes of a room without furniture. 
One narrowed like a corridor leading from the outside in. 

One sentence grew out of fashion with the disco-ball maker.
One was radial & wheeling, & the verb spun at the center. 

One forecasted an avalanche. One melted on the sand. 
One widened its plot for the burying of corpses. 

This one came zoo-tamed eating with other nocturnals. 
This one came caged like a hotel fire alarm. 

This one was a wound.  
This one a stitch.  
This a cicatrix.

Scripts for the Future

chatter around town will be of blindness  

all ghosts will be Russian ghosts at parties 


				                           always the law here is to sing, 
                                                                believe me 

				                           no thought-bubble tarries 
                                                                above your head   

				                           for all the brethren to read, 
                                                                they’re streaming  


a film on the history of the sun 

since eyes evolved to see underwater 


				                           do you prefer photos of 
                                                                landscapes or  

				                           photos of people, you choose 
                                                                the figure  

				                           for god among the lavish 
                                                                descriptions  

				                           of polar deserts, information 
                                                                clouds 


known as the neobeautiful, watching  

four-minute videos on how to draw 

blood samples with a butterfly needle 


				                           you will all have gone ancestral 
                                                                by then 


say unto them that you were changed into  

a heliotropic plant then back to  

a woman then a plant again, unlucky  

women carry too much yellow bile  

what paleozoic sunlight was like  


				                           acknowledge soul begins in the 
                                                                liver  

				                           take the vexing thought to the 
                                                                anagram 

				                           machine: net worth 
                                                                metamorphoses into  

				                           a wet thorn, tell me what my 
                                                                “about” shall be  


there’s a cherry tree at the center of  

puberty, a chlorine hand wash before entering  

love’s written all over your face, my love  

what incredible footage has emerged 

Related Poems

A Theory of Violence

—after New Delhi, after Steubenville

Under the surface of this winter lake,
I can still hear him say you're on thin ice
now, my heel grabbed, dragged into the opaque
murk of moments—woman raped on a bus;

girl plunged into oblivion, taken
on a tour of coaches' homes, local bars,
backseats of cars, the sour godforsaken
expression on each classmate's face; the dark,

the common route home, faint footfalls behind.
How many times have I bloodied my fist
against this frozen expanse to remind
myself there is another side, hope-kissed,

full of breath? I howl. The water begs, drown,
its hand pressing tight, muffling every sound.

Stereo

Marriage marriage is like you say everything everything in stereo stereo fall fall on the bed bed at dawn dawn because you work work all night. Night is an apartment. Meant to be marriage. Marriage is an apartment & meant people people come in in because when when you marry marry chances are there will be edibles edibles to eat at tables tables in the house. House will be the apartment which is night night. There there will be a bed bed & an extra bed bed a clean sheet sheet sheet or two two for guests guests one extra towel. Extra towel. How will you be welcomed? There will be drinks drinks galore galore brought by armies of guests guests casks casks of liquors liquors & brandies brandies elixirs sweet & bitter bitter bottle of Merlot Merlot Bustelo coffee. Will you have some when I offer. When you are married married there will be handsome gifts for the kitchen kitchen sometimes two of every thing. Everything is brand brand new new. Espresso coffee cups, a Finnish plate, a clock, a doormat, pieces of Art. And books of astonishing Medical Science with pictures. Even richer lexicons. When you are married married there will be more sheets sheets & towels towels arriving arriving & often often a pet pet or two two. You definitely need a telephone & a cellphone when you are married married. Two two two two lines lines lines lines. You need need separate separate electronic mail electronic mail accounts accounts. When you are married married you will have sets sets of things things, of more sheets & towels matching, you will have duplicates of things, you will have just one tablecloth. When you are married married you will be responsible when neighbors neighbors greet you. You will smile smile in unison unison or you might say he is fine, she is fine, o she is just down with a cold, o he is consoling a weary traveler just now, arrived from across the Plains. She my husband is due home soon, he my wife is busy at the moment, my husband he is very very busy busy at the moment moment this very moment. Meant good-bye, good-bye. When you are married married sex sex will happen happen without delay delay. You will have a mailbox mailbox & a doorbell doorbell. Bell bell ring ring it rings rings again a double time. You do not have to answer. That's sure for when you are married people people understand understand you do not not have to answer answer a doorbell doorbell because sex sex may happen happen without delay delay. You will hear everything twice, through your ears & the ears of the other. Her or him as a case case may be be. He & he & she & she as a case case may be may be. When you are married married you can play play with names names & rename yourself if you like. You can add a name, have a double name with a hyphen if you like. You can open joint accounts when you are married. Marriage is no guarantee against depression. A shun is no guarantee against anything. Marriage is no guarantee against resolution. Revolution is a tricky word word. Here, you hear here? Marriage is sweeter sweeter than you think. Think.

Domestic Violence

               1.

It was winter, lunar, wet. At dusk
Pewter seedlings became moonlight orphans.
Pleased to meet you meat to please you
said the butcher's sign in the window in the village.

Everything changed the year that we got married.
And after that we moved out to the suburbs.
How young we were, how ignorant, how ready
to think the only history was our own.

And there was a couple who quarreled into the night,
Their voices high, sharp:
nothing is ever entirely
right in the lives of those who love each other.

               2.

In that season suddenly our island
Broke out its old sores for all to see.
We saw them too.
We stood there wondering how

the salt horizons and the Dublin hills,
the rivers, table mountains, Viking marshes
we thought we knew
had been made to shiver

into our ancient twelve by fifteen television
which gave them back as gray and grayer tears
and killings, killings, killings,
then moonlight-colored funerals:

nothing we said
not then, not later,
fathomed what it is
is wrong in the lives of those who hate each other.

             3.

And if the provenance of memory is
only that—remember, not atone—
and if I can be safe in
the weak spring light in that kitchen, then

why is there another kitchen, spring light
always darkening in it and
a woman whispering to a man
over and over what else could we have done?

               4.

We failed our moment or our moment failed us.
The times were grand in size and we were small.
Why do I write that
when I don't believe it?

We lived our lives, were happy, stayed as one.
Children were born and raised here
and are gone,
including ours.

As for that couple did we ever
find out who they were
and did we want to?
I think we know. I think we always knew.