THE BODY IS AN EPIPHENOMENON
This man says I feel warm and deep.
He tells me my body is soft. When we sleep he wants
the part that carried our children. I wish
I had pale turquoise eyes. I’ve always loved transparent
eyes the most. The thinnest—devoid
of all humanness and connection.
There is a way to empty corruption through your eyes. This world
stands upright like a giant machine that has special hands
that operate me. Eyes can at least shed delicate things like skin.
The rest stays in the pit which revolves
like the skinny whining of a child
who is begging for something different to the money you give.
The man doesn’t look at it that way. He doesn’t know
what passes through my mind and out of my eyes.
He doesn’t sink into another world
during incubation sleep. He sees fire in me sometimes.
He says the light in my eyes is the strongest
when I sit in his lap and smile. He sits down behind me and strokes
my hair. He doesn’t know
I’m thinking of something else.
Of which point exactly did I die. At which point did I realize
I wasn’t really here. He tells me
my hair is so long and glossy. He wants to brush it.
I don’t understand how a man can value my body.
I tell him to stop calling me Mom.
He says our kids call me Mom.
He doesn’t know we are both a product of our mothers’
renunciation of intimacy.
My olive skin tans so well. I think white skin; colorless—
like a double-bricked hospital wall, would suit me better.
THINKING OF YOU
I think of you. There are many people I am thinking
about. The world you die in is not the same one you are born in.
The gristles in the city are feeling like roads.
I was wrong about so many things. The dingy
terraces with their bikes with their baskets tied to the front—
the moon as wide and yellow as a sun-lit lake—
watch how I paste it to the skyline.
Lamps are shining over their doors.
I’m older than I thought I would be.
There is no physical space for anything. But the mind
is bigger than that. There is a lot we can carry—
even that we don’t see. Of what you did.
Of me. Our one body was an attempt.
When the last tide gives in,
watch how your matching accoutrements fall through
your hands. You still don’t know
I was thinking of you. You will never know
about these pieces, these vines that keep stretching
and arching their tongues back in the dark. Sometimes it is better not to know.
Whenever I walk without you, I feel
for your letter in my pocket. It is hardly discernible now.
What you have killed.
How much of your water I have drunk.
When I saw your cold face—your wrist bent the wrong way—
your fingers flicked back like arrows pointing to strange lands.
Death makes us see things. White thin sheets for skin—eyes
as wet as sinking boats. The flesh around them the color of cut meat.
Can you see me now under this blanket—this heavy sea,
this dark water? Did you know there is a new sun?
It is bigger than the one that shines here.
More people should look at dead bodies. It should be mandatory.
We both disbelieved in God. We agreed it was speculation. The sea is carrying us in.
Bodies are the softest when they lie whole in death’s light-filled mouth.
I will let no other color permeate your skin. My hand is visible
even under the water. More people should view this sweeping
of the earth—this rapid shifting of the grains.
Annie Blake is an Australian writer who has work published or forthcoming in Mascara Literary Review, Red Savina Review, Antipodes, Uneven Floor, The Voices Project, Into the Void, Southerly, Hello Horror, Verity La, GFT Press, About Place Journal, Gravel, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review and more. Her poem ‘These Grey Streets’ was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize by Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She is excited about the process of self-actualization, research in psychoanalysis, philosophy and cosmogony. She holds a Bachelor of Teaching, a Graduate Diploma in Education and is a member of the C G Jung Society of Melbourne. Annie Blake (The Gatherer)
Arr Hart is an artist and photographer. Her photographs can be found here: Arr Hart