Scenes From the Battle of Us
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.
First published in The Kenyon Review New Series, Summer 2004, Vol. XXVI, No. 3. Copyright © Cate Marvin. Reprinted with permission of the author.
Marvin's first book, World's Tallest Disaster (Sarabande Books, 2001), won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry
Date Published: 2004-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/scenes-battle-us