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.
Copyright © 2011 by Cate Marvin. Used 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: 2011-09-21
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/why-i-am-afraid-turning-page