You are like a war novel, entirely lacking female characters, except for an occasional letter that makes one of the men cry. I am like a table that eats its own legs off because it’s fallen in love with the floor. My frantic hand can’t find where my leg went. You can play the tourniquet. A tree with white limbs will grow here someday. Or maybe a pup tent that’s collapsed in on itself, it so loves the sleep of men sleeping beneath it. The reason why women dislike war movies may have something to do with why men hate romantic comedies: they are both about war. Perhaps I should live in a pig’s trough. There, I’d be wanted. There, I’d be tasted. When the mail bag drops from the sky and lands heavy on the jungle floor, its letters are prepared to swim away with your tears. One letter reads: I can barely feel furtive. The other: I am diminishing.
Cate Marvin - 1969-
Why I Am Afraid of Turning the Page
Spokes, spooks: your tinsel hair weaves the wheel that streams through my dreams of battle. Another apocalypse, and your weird blondeness cycling in and out of the march: down in a bunker, we hunker, can hear the boots from miles off clop. We tend to our flowers in the meantime. And in the meantime, a daughter is born. She begins as a mere inch, lost in the folds of a sheet; it's horror to lose her before she's yet born. Night nurses embody the darkness. Only your brain remains, floating in a jar that sits in a lab far off, some place away, and terribly far. Your skull no longer exists, its ash has been lifted to wind from a mountain's top by brothers, friends. I am no friend. According to them. Accordion, the child pulls its witching wind between its opposite handles: the lungs of the thing grieve, and that is its noise. She writhes the floor in tantrum. When you climbed the sides of the house spider-wise to let yourself in, unlocked the front door, let me in to climb up into your attic the last time I saw you that infected cat rubbed its face against my hand. Wanting to keep it. No, you said. We are friends. I wear my green jacket with the furred hood. You pushed me against chain-length. Today is the day that the planet circles the night we began. A child is born. Night nurses coagulate her glassed-in crib. Your organs, distant, still float the darkness of jars.