Switch Operation

I shift

the Hudson

recombine

in newsfeeds

riots of bright

runoff

or young

enthusiasm

depositing

lines of age

the wreck

of asphalt

is in me

cracks

I push back

into

our tables

self-delete

characters

delighting you

with my

handiwork

peeling chemise

from apricots

honey

and hides

I divide

composite material

varietals

or filenames

shuffling through

word counts

like optional

clothing

a rivulet

moving a river

a man that is

the idea

of a father

I articulate

ongoing

disfigurement

see another

throw

of light

in the mess

of my

own shadow

and then

 

 

From Behind This Line I Steal Everything Back,
Or Another Story of Gretel

I left a trail behind me
dispossessed lichen
high-heeled boots
the iridescent part
of a workweek
like a hype girl
I was when
I got to the witch
nettles stinging my throat
in its leafessness
there was the line

and then
before the line
the erasing of foodlights
not minding me
this naked
and hair never wetter
than the paragraph
I wrote
or long enough
to escape the bay

window
you gave me
such hope
and four corners
in the forest
when was
I going to make
this matter
from pressure

gasoline
and row houses
could only pay out
in Ativan
or the living division
between cold sheets
two tones
close together

I was harvesting
your sound
or something
more ancient
from the airplane
aisles
furiously eating
lipstick
and needles
in a clearing

to remember
the ache
of home

 

 

Misgiving

that there were
women like me
here once
I wonder
if it’s a certainty
fur muffing their hands
as thatching
hooped earrings and gold
I push through holes
spooky
like them
walking across great basins
or into even greater
paintings
I soak my back
in black skirts
my feet in
homemade whiskeys
coloring
turning over
nightlike
a piece of glass
as shimmer
a spare room
archive
the property lines
in this place
drift
take to me
and my box-cut
somehow consenting
to the sun
in ranker pieces
I’ve never
gotten any good
at this type
of possession
oxidizing
into nail beds
or antiquing
an old body
I loved only once
and was left shorting
on the airwaves
slipping words
like sugar
they said it was so
unearthly
the wall-to-wall
of my thighs

 

 

 

 

Stevie Belchak divides her time between Northampton, MA, where she is an MFA candidate at UMASS Amherst, and San Francisco, CA, where she has followed in the footsteps of Marianne Moore as a product namer. A recent finalist for the Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Contest (2018), Stevie is a staff reader for jubilat and has work forthcoming in JetFuel Review.