Chester Street, Holding Court

— Gale Marie Thompson

Morning is a ready heft
blue ash         tearing the street open

Inside I am a little creature           nagging at god
writing lines about scruples
My nutritionist says I fantasize too much
             so I watch the largest icicles         hone into form
I chew on rubber succulents
                                                    take one pill to rise

Next door the Christian Brotherhood takes turns
shoveling my walk—a gesture I hear
                                      only in the bloody tunnels
before light
                          Someone else follows the snow’s accrual
It is incurable

Repetition doesn’t hide           the thing it repeats

             I didn’t mean to come here forever
reduced to an arrow                 Didn’t mean the violet room
But now I must be answerable to
                                                         Account for
so many little decays        root canals
                          I have a body to care for    That is here
it is disappointing        The patience of remaining alive
and daughter enough

                                      I had so much to give you
I had wanted to sing out from the middle
             To carry on         until our heroine dies

but I am the second         of two sisters
of the second of two sisters

Read more from Issue No. 19 or share on Twitter.