Thursday, December 3, 2015

Anna Girgenti- Three Poems

Paper Dolls

like a harpoon into time’s hands
each holding a pair of scissors the size 
of a human body
here we stand

there are two things we use:

First is ink-
its promise of immortality
the echoing laughter of children who 
run barefoot in the night
holding lightening bugs hostage in mason jars
not yet aware that the scent of freshly mowed grass 
requires an act of severing, 
all born from
the healthy marriage between 
and paper

Second is blade-
what the coffee grinds said to the egg shells
in the confines of a landfill 
to dig penmarks out of flesh
to peel away pages of our paperback lives
to extract droplets of liquid gold from fireflies
and bathe forever in it,
to say of what lives 
in memory:
“this does not exist”

rolls out like a luminous
adrift in the black chasm of time’s passage
some of us cannot retract what 
we wrote

instead of erased mistakes,
we carve clean-edged 

to take out the trash is the 
rebirth of a 
nothing is created
only borrowed 
and we are children 
cutting dolls out of magazines
learning how to trace well 
the permeated edges
of the ones 
love most.

Sensory Threshold

Right now,
you are breathing.
It is working.
You are fine.

One time,
the man in front of me in the checkout line 
at the grocery store
held up a gun and
took all the money from 
the cash register.

The clerk let him do it
stood still 
looked at me
and said, “we are being robbed.”

After he ran out the double-wide 
automatic doors,
she scanned my eggs and my
she said, “how are you?”
I said, “I’m fine.”

I took off my head 
paid for it
and left it on the conveyer belt,
a gift for the next customer

a wrong and a right, a death and a birth
we keep the world in balance
we cover diamonds with dirt
we throw leftover sandwiches 
the broken windows of 
abandoned buildings    
straight-faced, we say we are okay
while a stranger draws blood from our veins
you walk home in the rain and crawl
into bed next to someone you don’t know
you recognize his face
because you married him 30 years ago.

Between the sheets, right now
you are breathing.
It is working.
You are fine.

Achilles Wears White Nikes, 1999

Homer wrote:
“The gods envy us”
  They envy
 because we 

I envy the black Nikon camera dangling 
from your neck
when you jaywalk in the city
at 4am
       And I collect red flags 
on the 8 mile path
to your front door
     open me
     with your tongue
“Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed.”

The next day
in the shower 
I pick up the bar of soap
     and carve your name into it 
     until it bleeds all over me
and stains the walls & the drain
and I am 
choking on capillaries.

   With your Nikon 360
you capture the whole scene.

flock to L.A. to see me in a sterilized tank
of red liquid.
I grew fins.
These modern kings measure my
red-scaled limbs.

“You will never be lovelier than you are now,” you say.

I envy the
dead beluga next door
and the soap bar 
and the Christmas lights you hung yourself with 
last December.
I’ll keep you between
      the slits in my gills, friend.
  “We will never
            be here

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