in which our bodies formed a crossroad, an x

 

it was not that I did not see it, but that I feared forgetting how

an angle, a spandrel

a letter written in invisible ink in the

between, a crossing

 

to a place tender

 

to a place of knives and roses, to aces

 

wild, where tree roots open

their own terrible leaves

underground, visible

where the dead are positioned at folding tables,

so that the scene appears lively

 

it is not a distraction it is an invitation

to pay attention.          to write it down          and remember

the number, impossible

or simply unknown

 

(self portrait in a clouded mirror

self portrait leaning against itself)

 

 

possibility, made

manifest.

 

let x be time, and how it indicates not decay

but forgetting,                         the desire to exist in spite of it

 

or because of it.                       ::dead insect preserved, pinned to a bed, in which it is opened

 

each an x, in themselves,

positioned, in sequence                       (you have felt this

 

before)

 

a pattern emerges, a process:

 

(is it that I am at home in my own loneliness, or that I am not yet

complete?) (that I could easily be torn in two) (that I wanted

to be rent asunder)

 

 

self birth: crossdress

 

man, I

 

was silk, indefinite

thing to feel

 

house next to the highway where a girl rides a horse in a circle, a round

barrel circle Scottish terrier runs in a circle at the horse’s heels what you want

is a girl with land what you want

is a girl with prospects it’s like panning

for gold out there its like pull

like orbit, gravity sent yards

 

down, shaved just a square of land, on

thighs and they thought this is america. this is my daughter

riding in a circle

my wife

her hands in biscuit dough

what they must feel

 

& what do I do with her how do I care

for a thing like this

 

how old were you when you first felt that soft spot at the back of your head

 

the spiral on the back of a baby head where the mind folds and unfolds flag, christ

peering out from the wheat fields the fact is

that wheat can grow all year collects frost crystals at the root                     do you touch

the fabric to                              yourself do you touch                            the curtain’s

edge or do you just look at yourself and think                     of your skeleton?

 

when were you

                        born into yourselfself-birthing in which

you are your own mother to yourself and would you treat yourself better or worse

if you were your own mother?   it was not a nymph, but a mother I saw

 

you have seen in yourself

you have seen in the wheat

what you have seen

in the wheat sees you back

 

 

farmer, farmer, burning

dress at the window, at this

address at night a dress

by the highway           where she emerged                 alive, purple

 

silk I never said I’d

do it full time never

tell anyone about it

 

 

but when I put it on I felt

 

more alive than dead drinking

 

all that light in in the upstairs

 

room I felt myself

 

break o            p          e          n          into a spiral into a root system

 

ice crystals on roots on fire

get dressed go out to the cows

 

when was the last time you

felt anything soft when was the last

time you felt anything that good

 

on top of a hill in winter in kansas with all these roots all this stem all these bodies beneath me like a horse I lay down in the field with my back to the field feeling good

 

 

 

 

Denise-Jarrott-Dream-Pop-Press

 

Denise Jarrott is the author of the chapbook Nine Elegies (dancing girl press). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, Beecher’s Magazine, Zone 3, Grimoire, and elsewhere. She grew up in Iowa and currently lives in Brooklyn.