Preview - A New Hunger
this is the viscous heart I hide from you:
gnashing, polluted, hooked to my ribs
like a burr, stuck there and stinging,
and it’s only 4:14 in the morning.
Those sudden shudders the waking alarm,
then the daily discipline of shutting away that heart,
shambling through the house, touching things,
stroking their shapes, as if it could help me
not be the Bad Sower’s daughter each morning,
the pit from a seed he sowed and left to parch,
and no crows would feed from it. So I lived. I don’t
want to explain this further, I’m done with it.
But this for you: on the days I hold your books,
read your letters, recall a gaze, the delicate
dangle of an earring, or the throwing
back of a head in laughter,
it’s you seeding the first beat into the heart
I open. And as the sun heaves daylight
into the parched tree by my window,
and rats burrow away, when pigeons come
down to feed on dust and pizza crusts, I thrum
the lit syllables of your names on my sill with all
ten fingers, typing them firmly into the brick,
and counting their beats, counting their beats.
I sold her bed for a song.
A song of yearning like an orphan’s.
Or the one knives carve into bread.
But the un-broken bread
song too. For the song that rivers
sing to the ferryman’s oars. With
that dread in it.
For a threadbare tune: garroted,
chest-choked, cheap. A sparrow’s,
beggar’s, a foghorn’s call.
For the kind of song only morning
can slap on love-stained sheets —
that’s what I sold my mother’s
bed for. The one she died in. Sold it
for a song.
© LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR. PUBLISHED BY PERMMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.