Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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.

Credit


First published in The Kenyon Review New Series, Summer 2004, Vol. XXVI, No. 3. Copyright © Cate Marvin. Reprinted with permission of the author.

Author


Cate Marvin

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