There’s so much snow
it swallows the hems of the wind chimes
and our fingers split
and they never seem to heal.
Blood seeps out when we’re excited.
As with Odysseus,
you will recognize me
by the scar on my thigh.
We give pain.
We take it with us,
carry it, too.
If Francesca Woodman Were My Taxidermist
Amazed she is alive, my childhood cat.
Her markings as oiled and flaked as cod (cooked).
Black, brown, and white.
A jagged line runs down her forehead
Stitching her face in half
As she stands on her elbows
And mouths to me,
About forgetting her under the steps.
When the memory drags itself back
I want to
It comes randomly:
Driving along the interstate,
As I drift through the shadow of the overpass.
When I’m on a street,
Passing cafes and people laughing,
Their wine glasses held high,
Their arms as thin as the necks of birds.
Somewhere, the door to a display case opens:
Ashy phosphenes blur
The camera’s eye.
Through a broken window
Long-nailed air strokes whiskers and feathers,
Her underarm hair.
She lifts her hands, her face blurred into
Pixels on a page.
Unlike her, I wake.
My fingers searching for fur.
D_ _ r
The driveway is punctuated with grain.
Although April is in a matter of days,
Apples aren’t enough.
There’s still so much snow,
Still the nights clear their way into the negatives.
You can tell the deer are hungry.
They sashay down the dirt road,
And flip their ears and flip their tails, unafraid.
Even the blue jays look thin and muddy.
The black moles that burrow beneath the birdfeeder,
Come out and charge me when I walk by.
We’re all living with a need now:
Last night I dreamt I saw you at a party,
Amidst the lights, I saw embroidered on your sweater,
your name, missing all the vowels.
The liquid inside is gone.
The yellow dome,
Thick and rubbery,
That too is gone.
When you sit, with your legs crossed
You can see in a very simple
And clean way,
That your heel is missing
A hunk of flesh.
You may want to figure it out:
Why the hole reminds you of a past lover
Or maybe a current one.
When you place the tip of your finger
Into it and feel the new pink skin inside,
Why it feels erotic and sad
At the same time.
If you were smaller,
The size of a child’s toy,
You could count the rings of skin
That you had to cut away.
Where is your placenta buried?
I’ve been thinking
About my own
Means to place, meant to place me
There. Or here. Wherever.
Under the covers
I used to sleep next to you
As close as I could get
Our beds pushed together
My body pressed into the crack
As if I were digging against the trench
Between two tectonic plates
That slowly drift apart:
I told you about this idea
Asked about my placenta
And you had cried, saying
You had buried my placenta
In your dead mother’s backyard.
I dream I leave the burner on,
that your Altoids turn to car keys,
that in the middle of saying I love
bury your face in my breasts and huff the skin like a drug.
The next morning, you pack up your things: your t-shirt, your socks.
I’m awkward as I drink my coffee.
Did you use the toothbrush from last time?
Is it still wrapped in its napkin?
Saying goodbye is as sad as
seeing a Schwan’s meal delivery truck on Thanksgiving.
After you go,
………………….I run past homes
……………………………………….. …..and I smell laundry
I was alone and I was cold when I fell asleep with Roland Barthes.
Some stupid television show on in the background
The blue of the TV climbing up the walls like mold.
This old motor-inn smells like abandonment.
A sort of loneliness that settles over you
After you sleep with someone
You don’t understand
Let alone love.
Earlier I took a shower in the dark
The light kept buzzing, like a fly.
I was afraid it would fall out of the ceiling, into the water
And kill me.
Dead on the fake plastic floor.
My arm and hand unfurling out of the bathroom
Out onto the green shag carpet.
I wake up in between commercials, Camera Lucida on my breasts
I’m dreaming in segments
My mind a community of photographs
The image repertoire always a thought out of reach
But I try to grasp it
I close my eyes but the faces and bodies fade
A micro death?
And what of love? Of grief? Of dreaming?
Maybe I’m just getting my connotations all mixed up
Moving from X to Z, stuck at Y
Y am I here? Y an inevitable death? Y is it taking so long for the heat
To move a few degrees?
—k. a. Moritz
Currently residing in Vermont’s rural Northeast Kingdom, k.a. Moritz has begun work on her latest project, the NEcK, a publication that will showcase the gritty and rugged landscapes of life, both internally and externally. Aside from writing, she runs, eats, and juggles a variety of jobs. Moritz lives with her two cats, Fish and Fearless Marble.