Not knowing how to not be in my body,
not knowing how to write with death re-
molasses-veil, headlights’ snow.
I’m not in my body in the way I knew before:
shell’s curve, shatter shy. I’m not in my body
in the way I knew before: missing the knife
to my neck as I spiraled toward sleep.
Here, you should see me
in a darkened room, spotlight on my skin.
Here, you should see me in prism,
see me seeing double.
I hold a headlight to my gut. I hold a headlight
to my gut. I hold a headlight to my gut
and find an egg, translucent,
gelatinous tears flicker-enclosing:
grass at dusk,
a stranger’s hand.
This is a theater. This is a theater:
the fear of not knowing whose hand
is inside me, if I let it, if I loved it.
This is a theater:
I hold a headlight to my gut. Are you beside yourself?
I sit beside myself.
I’m a body in the water. I’m a body in the water.
I turn my eyes toward montage:
bonsai in a vat,
eggs twitching in grass,
the hand re-entering my field
as sister, child,
I hold her in my vision.
AM RINGWALT is a writer and musician. The author of The Wheel (Spuyten Duyvil), her work appears in Annulet, Black Warrior Review, and Bennington Review. Summer Angel, her fourth LP, will release June 17 via Dear Life Records. What Floods, her book-length poem, is forthcoming from Inside the Castle.