an obscure thing happened to me, is happening to me
One poet speaks of love and one of mastery, the animal kind of mastery that means
tight sinews and survival. The animal kind of love that means
you will think it is not the animal.
I shall speak of guilt.
It relaxes you more into you, until you are soft, indistinct meat whispers.
The fault under black water under fat under black blood.
Everything you cannot see is black.
Sometimes the tumor rises in the heat of the mattress and seizes.
Alive! Alive! She’s alive!
When the tumor touches me I feel sick and high and salty the way I do
when the plane lifts off and something in me drops.
I watch the young eat the young and the old eat the young and it is the mewing
I cannot stand.
Mother’s mother: As I jump from piled crates and punch my round belly,
she’s alive. Still alive.
The brown ghosts surround me and applaud me for my responsibility.
I list it on my resume as a defining trait.
Agatha cries when I feed her less and claws at my nipples.
But you’re fat, I say.
Somehow when the stranger drops on the pavement in front of me
spitting blood and his whole body shaking like an ecstatic dog’s
I feel the dead inside me.
According to my research, this is a kind of presumptuousness.
All the animals inside me are dead.
Someone held his head as he spit blood and jiggled.
In another life, I went on the ambulance with him.
I held his head as blood came out of it.