After another night spent quenching the fire alone
I crawl out belly-first from under billowing clouds, a reminder
that the only one who burned was me, the scorch marks coiling ribbon-like
inside my belly, forming a careful bow that clenches between my legs.
In the morning light the blades of grass outside the window
begin to look like knives glimmering with drops of sweat, an invitation
to peel off my skin down to the insults I keep swallowing and meaning
to birth back out, to be my own midwife. Slipping my fingers just below the ribs
I watch them come up slick with a squirming bundle and instantly think
death then after father, two concepts concerned with tracing trajectory.
As it slithers out of me I try to remember the old belief about snails
and pregnancy, something about conception through thought. Or maybe
it was dewdrops. I am left working on working up the nerve to call what has hurt me
my child while it pools and squirms between the sun’s many tongues
in search of a form to fill.
Imagine pulling the plug
from deep within layers of softness
a hand long-gone worked so hard
to breathe life into, heavy flow
of paint and the gurgling sigh that follows,
like flushing a centuries-old
aquarium clogged up with carelessly
flung words and misdirected lust, the result
when reality is applied too literally.
I often wonder what might come out
from this hypothetically perfect
hole, if the debris will resemble a certain water
god I have long given up searching for
or taste like the well-aged wines
I still turn down out of habit or instinct.
I am still undecided.
It is already my job to study her/
curves (some days I struggle separating the two)
from a safe distance across time and space
and consent I keep hoping her eyes
will give me. I like to believe
in their fullness, to see
the emptiness of marble and saturated hues
as fields of possibility
awakened with a question.
Sea Salad for the Sleepless
My mind is a rippling form
wading through a mass of watercress and lily pads
neighbour to the restless Mab
whose hazelnut chariot lays hidden for the season.
I want them to claim me — water,
greens, aquatic beings, the swirling dance
of brushstrokes that always accompany
this state of pooling outwards from the core.
I want to dissolve, become tiny specks of concentrated
being floating down to the depths
put to sleep in the sifting fields of sand
by the fading hands of summer’s last ray.
Margaryta Golovchenko is a settler-immigrant, poet, critic, and academic based in Tkaronto/Toronto, Treaty 13 and Williams Treaty territory, Canada. The author of two poetry chapbooks, she is completing her MA in art history and curatorial studies at York University and can be found sharing her (mis)adventures on Twitter @Margaryta505.
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