MEREDITH WATTLE 

is a sociology major

in her sophomore year.

The only writing contest she's ever won

was a "Bad Poetry Contest," for purposefully writing a terrible

piece of garbage.

V I S I T I N G    P I E C E S

 

Chin-        scraping,           bone-

breaking,    the   deprivation   of

fear  and  water,  what   clothes 

do I wear?   Get lost!    Get the map two  months  too   late, the

topographic      labor      claim,   

never seen again. I am hungrier than . I’m  used  to,  I devour   the    state   whole.   It

tastes like death  in  the   name 

of       profit.     The     geometric

shape      of      one     nightmare

dissolves into  a  great  curve  of

eddies,   the    wash   down   the

broken   hydrant.   Popsicles  of

raw     sewage    and    radiation.

Cornflower.            Deer        leg.

Corkscrew.      Drunk.    He calls

the  blue   militia   and  screams

“Take care   of   them  like  I told

you to!”    New    scars    on    my

hands.   New   bruises   on   my

legs. Metal-tasting      sleeping   and waking,  itch   itch    itch. A

margin  within  to  ask the right

q     u     e     s     t     i     o     n    s.

building

 

the material feeling: comfort and a concrete floor, to think I might carry the weight of the word stone, and line

              all sides of the hallway with lead.

 

at the end perhaps one door or many more, but for now my eyes and their sight-lines run parallel to the walls.

 

when at my back I feel the sticky wind and sick sweaty palms of men at work, while I toe the line between bad

           

                tips and a bottle of Jack and quivering lips spilling comments on my bodily presence.

 

I mind                                                                               my                                                                                body

 

and at last move to the shadow with a mountain’s footsteps, slowly forward, to the window and the door and

             the front porch of living, to receive the stranger in the chair.

 

                  “It has been too long,” the stranger smiles, and we introduce ourselves to each other.

NAME Magazine UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO 2020