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Mary-Kim Arnold

Mary-Kim Arnold is the author of The Fish & The Dove, forthcoming from Noemi Press in 2020, and Litany for the Long Moment (Essay Press, 2018). She teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University and lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

By This Poet

1

Self-Portrait as Semiramis

Had I been raised by doves
wouldn’t I have learned
to fly
 
By wolves
to hunt in packs
 
Had I been raised by gods
wouldn’t I too
be godlike
 
In the movies the orphan
is the killer
not loved enough
unwanted
 
But wasn’t I
most
wanted
 
My mother
fish goddess
dove into the sea
for the sin of loving
a mortal man
 
I love a mortal man too
 
At night I coax him
from sleep
rousing him
with my mouth
 
By day
we build high brick walls
around us
        	  our Babylon
 
Had my mother lived
to see me rise from this boundless
deep
        	would she recognize me
as I have grown large
and my arms have become
the long arms of the sea
reaching over
        	         and over
                                	     	    for the shore