“…it was myself, split open, unable to speak, in exile from /myself.”
Intense starburst activity:
10 million years during which
everything is beautiful and swollen.
Stars that rise only for a rainy season
or what you might dream like when
you are no longer part of this body.
In a room on this table
on this end of tugging,
and I just might lose.
His cloud of voice
tries to guide me back
to this uprising
of a heart, as they yank and twist
her out like a flag long embedded
in moon rock. I am in this room
when our clustering begins
but cannot hear her cries
over the blood-thrumming.
I’m off taunting the cosmos, baby.
I’m no longer full.
The Earth slips away
like a lover I’ve forgotten
how to touch.
I’m the new moon but darkness
is not a cloak I can wear for protection
anymore. If I can’t shake off
this dust, I’ll be left floating
out here inside the echo
of that Bowie song.
My newborn has no name.
I’ve got Magnesium Sulfate
in my veins, so I hardly know
I am in this room. He reminds me
with a face soft after phone calls
to family, and she reminds me with her mouth
soft with colostrum and exposure to light.
I’m not in this low-sodium-level body,
but it still knows what to do.
My brain might swell
and I think of a hot air balloon
with no one in the basket.
My daughter is still nameless
and has colliding dust clouds
for a mother.
The doctor lets her stay
in this room in which I am
and am not.
They keep my body
with hers orbiting around it.
The cloud that waits in every sky
like the lake of blood under my body
that someone else cleans up
in a room that I am in
The nurse peels up
the stickiness and throws out
these maps my body
has made, that I won’t remember
enough to know where they lead
when I remember that I’ve been missing.
All the while, running in crop circles,
tripping over this woven rug of brain.
And still her moon face waits
waits for the cherry blossoms
to pink the District,
waits for me to teach them
She nestles her patience
into this body
and feels the reverberations
of the woodpecker inside
drilling away at
what is well-documented.
She and I will always be opened up
~after Sylvia Plath
Nobody in the brain
and nothing, nothing but milk.
Everything in the backyard
of our bones all the same.
Something out of a comic
book with more than eight legs;
Death in the room flashing
an unexpectedly small tongue.
that stretches pages.
Don’t bother to cover
your pinched mouth, doc.
We move in closer
to the dark purple thistle.
Hummingbird lights up.
Two moon faces hover
as though this shimmering
is somebody else’s.
Natalie Giarratano is the author of Big Thicket Blues (Sundress
Publications, 2017) and Leaving Clean, winner of the 2013 Liam
Rector First Book Prize in Poetry (Briery Creek Press). Her poems
have appeared or are forthcoming in Beltway Poetry, Tupelo
Quarterly, Tinderbox, American Literary Review, and Whale Road
Review, among others. She edits and lives in Fort Collins, CO, and
was the city’s 2018-2020 poet laureate.
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