by Allison Grayhurst
Mapping out oblivion, putting
lines where there are no lines. Like the small moths
that live all year in my closet, nibbling at clothes I forget to wear,
making a feast with what has been discarded -
I feel connection, but at only at one end, like cutting eyelids
out of clay. Finger-made eyes that cannot see, cannot approach
my trembling body, gaze over it
and crack the distance.
Entering this thirst like entering a church, climbing wide stone steps,
being bombarded with that floral, incense smell, or like warring
with a round whitish eucharist wafer, stuck to the roof of my mouth.
There is no garment to keep me warm, no thistle to swallow, scarring
all the way down. There is only the afterbirth of this thirst, void
of the fattened wail, shadow, the kind the tv traps in its frame.
How am I to dissipate this growing, encroaching wave, rest
like before, when my mouth was not so dry, rest
on a raft, my head leaning over, under seawater,
conversing calmly and feeling one with
schools of curious but contented swimmers?