Lately, he says you might be dying. That you do it like you did astronomy under the blankets. Sip some tea or spill it. Get closer to him he says. He says, will the world care if you never glitter? You’ve lost so many gloves. You’ve laid behind a tree, you’ve distressed over gauntlets of altars of chirping inside the wombspell. You’ve seen the underworld and thought it grand if not a bit ruddy. You’ve been religious and non-religious and understood the innerworkings of crystals in a lover’s ear. You’ve been no child but you’ve been no child but you’ve been a naked thing because you shower without clothes. If you start the breeze, if you breathe painless and clear, if your uppermost mind becomes a sand-abandoned dawn, if for a moment you draw a blank with a pencil and then drive it through your ear. Lately, you think you might be dying and you idealize over bras thinking lacier ones will somehow save your life.


What will hurt you: a marsh no longer a marsh a memory which forged an entire wingspan to strut forth on the biplane and so you saw it—a clear picture of yourself at middle age or dried out arroyos, a brilliant noise of dancing in the Michael Jackson phase of your luminous little childhood sequestered. It did fester, those stupid dreams. Now your loans are deferred. Your throat quite possessive of just the right ooooh’s and aaaaah’s. Your supernatural cloak of perfect hair said you didn’t want revenge. You said it yourself: I don’t seek revenge. Little Jenny, how you lie.  How transparent your jellyfish egg. Your nature is hushed, your athletic pencil in the passive eclipse, an eclipse drawn to scale in the smart of your life. You too housed revenge with hospitality and gave it slippers. Nothing shown except the tremor of an archer’s quiver. Your fatigue conveyed in a mangrove, a forest that refused to move, until S. looked away. My revenge a celluloid photograph frequenting the most desperate of performances—the ache reserved for me alone.


Christie Ann Reynolds is the author of Revenge Poems (SUPERMACHINE, 2010) and co-curator of the Stain of Poetry Reading Series.