ON CEMENT

Sometimes I’m pleased
to have no words
mid-day you know
the single tube
in our throats
could be lethal,
morning eggs
dictate this breath
braying animal
Imperiled. I’d like
smarting yarrow,
old gold stoppering
the flow of blood.
What’s my body
But all the ways
My mind is wrong?


Here we are full
Of snot and lush
excitement. Cops
swarm the city.
A mouse zigzags,
city to abandoned lot
with yellow flowers
An old feeling
unlodges. A kid snaps
photos of the lot
to sell, it’s not art
it could be a place
to live. I like a bloom
as much as any animal.
The sky’s wide
open;  water moves
toward lower points.
What’s cement without
a hand to pour?

 

THREE BACKS

Unlike memory, I was afraid. The adrenaline gave way to silence, peeling apart violets at sunset. In lieu of flowers, we fell to our knees. It wasn’t better out there, just a different stretch of pink light: sometimes the earth was warm like my hand inside the stomach of a cow. It was feeling the air in the spring and the scent of cedar.

Begin in a way that might invoke a trudging along. What I am saying is I can sew a language out of scraps of consonants, the fricatives you used in anger & left behind. I can sew into the night with fingers bleeding only to arrive sadly into morning. Arriving sadly alongside the whale who has been carrying her dead infant in her mouth for three days. I walked those days only among the trees.

The grief of the sentence. The grief in the image and in my dreams, the woman calling to her dead child and the child is cradled in my arms. Blood and foliage, velveteen squares of cloth. How are you to quantify sublimation? The results are small Latinate miseries, child born with a heart outside its body.

 

 

 

 

Jess Nesbitt is a poet living in Baltimore, MD. Her work has appeared in Paint Bucket and Industrial Lunch.