As/Is







6.24.2014


From Ocho 11 (2007): Mary Walker Graham



DOUBLE
Here is a box of fish marked tragedy. Is it different from the dream in which your alter ego kills the girl? You are the same, and everyone knows it, whether tracing the delicate lip of the oyster shell, or sharpening your blade in the train car. The marvelous glint is the same. Though you think you sleep, you wake and walk into the hospital, fingering each instrument, opening each case with care. The scales fall away with a scraping motion. You are the surgeon and you are the girl. Whether you lie like feathers on the pavement, or coolly pocket your equipment, and walk away. . . You are the same; and you are the same. You only sleep to enter the luminous cave.


A PIT, A BROKEN JAW, A FEVER
When I say pit, I'm thinking of a peach's. As in James and the Giant, as in: the night has many things for a girl to imagine. The way the flesh of the peach can never be extricated, but clings — the fingers follow the juice. The tongue proceeds along the groove. Dark peach: become a night cavern — an ocean's inside us — a balloon for traveling over. When I said galleons of strong arms without heads, I meant natives, ancient. I meant it takes me a long time to get past the hands of men; I can barely get to their elbows. How a twin bed can become an anchor. How a balloon floating up the stairwell can become a person. Across the sea of the hallway then, I floated. I hung to the fluorescent fixtures in the bathroom, I saw a decapitated head on the toilet. I'll do anything to keep from going in there. I only find the magazines under the mattress, the Vaseline in the headboard cabinet. A thought so hot you can't touch it. A pit. A broken jaw. A fever.