Monday, April 8, 2013

a mover's wife

i could lay my body across your arms
you'd carry me through fields with maggots
in dead rodents, through rivers of blood bramble,
through the sanctuary of thistle down and bedrock
against water.

wrap my breasts in blue tape, bundle the arms and legs.
press your mouth against my mouth
do not mistake this for a thumb.
there is no silencing screams of pleasure

across the deserts we camped in tents and against
the train tracks where three children died at three am
blocking the moon from view, buried in puffy vests,
blown apart as easily as dandelion down from
your mouth.

i shuddered underneath your long body
in the ink blot where the dune met sky
the train wailed and rattled down the track
i am afraid i whispered. you should be, you
whisper back

move the bedframes, the oak dresser, the mirror
made of a thousand butchered swans
move the weather caster, she witch makes spells
to forecast rain or dry, you found her vibrator in
the couch

i married a mover, a working class body
a man whose hands are on the human stain
every day, i am waiting for your long carry
me over the mountain where the bears and coyotes

where you tell me i should never be afraid 
you have never broken a glass vase
or cracked a plate, never scraped the finish
off canvas though i am not still life
still life.

though broken already, i swallow this lie
it pips its own birth and cracks from my teeth
as yellow and fortified as the first milk 
as ugly and new as we are.

maggie may ethridge

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