A PREPOSITION TO FOLLOW “LIVE”
Here I am
in someone else’s bad dream.
Metal spheres roll through the grass,
grow larger, pull iron from the rock
and from the blood.
The wind takes what from me?
No matter. That was never mine
When I awake the field is made of faces.
Can you remember anything?
Though how to put it.
What do you want to know?
The facts? — The feelings?
That I was there? — That I was crying?
I held a vase. I held an urn.
I was a flower. I was what burned.
If I don’t survive it, please
right things about me:
The time I was caught singing
among the violins.
Perhaps I lost my bow,
thought no one would notice the difference —
my voice came back
and so I used my voice.
Everyone keeps dying from nothing
To search their skin for green blood,
you’d find nothing
A thousand girls die each year
choking on cherry stems
they’re trying to tie into knots with their tongues
I comb my hair a hundred strokes
and wish my scalp was blue and beautiful
I dream when I dream
of my own thighs
Bare on a soundstage
Of eyes on them
The klieglights and the floodlights and
The warmth of all those lights and the eyes too
I wake up sweating and hips twice as wide
I decide between smoking and drinking and eating
Which are the three bright red leaves on my tree —
The beautiful ones, and the ones that are dying
Outside I hallucinate a group of girls
Pink and staggering
They clutch wrists as they walk
They form a machine
Delicate as a spider on stilts
I scream at the damp matches
They call me an addict, they laugh
I say fuck you I’ve seen the way you put on chapstick
They all turn white and reach for their chapsticks
When they let go of each other the machine breaks
Smoke pours from their mouths and they fall down
I know I’ve made so many many mistakes
SARAH MATTHES is a poet from central New Jersey. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Prodigal, The Feminist Utopia Project, Girlblood Info, and elsewhere. She is a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.