THEY MAKE THINGS EASIER HERE SO THAT OTHER THINGS GET HARDER
GALE MARIE THOMPSON
Who will be with you
as you become? I am not asking
for me, but for the girl character
who waits behind my eyelids,
the wild foam of her
that spreads only outwards.
Most of the time I feel
her endlessly gone: the sun stuns
my empty shoulder. My scars
are milk. Gesture. Counter-gesture.
No longer anything healing,
I run into error. What I want
is to swallow my own form of mercy.
When asked, I describe where I was
as a kind of sanitarium. I run
in the cold until I become
a dark stain of copper, the outer ring
meeting the offering breast
of the inner ring. I become heat
and breath and pink thrust.
I turn frustration into bodily harm,
rub my skin until the blood comes.
The body has its own memory;
I brush against it when I bathe.
I was at a place where mercy began
but I didn’t really know it.