There Is a Devil Inside Me

Carolina Ebeid
           —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? 

More by Carolina Ebeid

[You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior]

You ask me to talk 
	       about the interior 

it was all roadside flowers & grasses
	       growing over the cities

was made of wilderness & sky
	       with God washed out of it

was the foreign prayer-word
	       it was a list of missing persons

was the solid bronze charging
	       bull on the famous street

was like the Roman method for making bees

was its taken-down carcass
	       & its bed of apple-branches & thyme
	
was a new anatomy      a beaten hide
	       a skeleton sweetening to glowing fluids

& the bee born out & the grist of them born
	       glistening as coins

it was anthem
	       was the listening

the way a searchlight listens over a lake
	       it was the prayer-word out of your mouth

your thousand-noun request
	       it goes up up to the florescent weather

was hurdle & burn      burning through
	       the infinite      your overbright comet

was made of stones      made of berries & plastic & boxtops & eggshells
	       it was like the word having reached the ear

& the words pollinated the dark      there was darkness there
		             like the afterhours inside a library

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

Styx

You put a bag around your head and walked into the river.
You

walked into the river with a bag around your head and you were
never dead 

game on the banks of your
mental styx

for the double
audience

of smoke—


               —


You pressed a coin into his palm and stepped across the water.
You

stepped across the water with a hand on his arm and he was
silent and kind as you
               shoved off, toward the smoky coils

of the greek-seeming dead—
You’d been trying to sleep.

Found yourself here
in the mythocryptic land—

The river


               —


had widened to a lake. You were anchored
in the shallow boat 

by his faceless weight—
And on the green shore you could see their vapored

residue, how they could
smell it, those two―if you 	

slit your wrist you could make them speak.

If you


               —


slit your wrist you might be able to sleep.

Grief. 
Grief. 
Handing you back

your coin.