Man’s great affliction [...] is that looking and eating are two different operations. Eternal beatitude is a state where to look is to eat.
Outside me is a meat. Less woman than a woman,
waste of a symbol that sucks me
and not me. Can you not see it. Again a June
of fruit flies and dried blood, of peeling myself away
like a red arrow. The only architecture here is
a wakeful accruing of the dead. I hold an ear to it.
When Elizabeth dyes a baby goat bright red it is an act,
and I love her for it. But now I don’t know
if it is an artful act or a violence, and now I don’t want to write.
Passing a family of unborn figs I love them enough
to slice them open, slip into their patterns.
The tyrant never was just one body.
Is it simple enough to say, the feeling of ekstasis
is to stand outside your own position, when ectasis is a dilation.
A stretching beyond the solid of yourself. But once
I went so long without water that I was certain my friends hated me.
Once it was pills that gave me moonface, later moonthighs,
a blue pattern of bulge and sleep. If the body is a dwelling is an archive,
then I sing in its ragged globe. Hunger is on both sides of the windowpane.
Inside the belly, garbage never fits. No.
No, I don’t mean the.
I mean my my my until I can legislate my own gaping openness.
There is dilation and then there is a stand-off. The factory in me
can also be a way of caressing. Draws in to draw out, drawn to
and drawn out. At its root, and bile tight.
I am in that place.
Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press, 2015) and two chapbooks. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her work may be found in places like Bone Bouquet, Gulf Coast, Guernica, Cosmonauts Avenue, Foundry, jubilat, and Colorado Review. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine, and she lives, writes, and teaches in Grand Rapids, Michigan.