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.
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.