Marie Landau lives in Albuquerque, where she is a Master’s in Literature candidate at the University of New Mexico. She is an assistant editor for the University of New Mexico Press.
Reconstruc(itera)tion of a House
For now, a curtain impresses the tenderness
between constructing houses.
Areas of the house we call conduits
undesirable spaces filled by
and only (if)
could write our image.
If, with no,
we find shelter, yes
could press into the liquid unwriting of our movements,
of mornings that yield blank gesture.
Afternoon has no one to visit but a kneeling tragedy
To name a place is to
There are no borders here drawn to conclusion
just lines of half-life
remembrance: two trains speeding
(un)uniformly to crash
politics, whose reason commits
thrown to the common enemy:
Hallway: [ ]
Where all the simple tasks denied
curl up and fester at the kitchen’s mouth.
Kitchen: Vestiges (of food, of drink, of irreparable consumption)
You, of the knife,
clean into a remembrance of folly.
Your gadgets fulfill an otherwise
reckless promise—that a providing space
will unfailingly provide
Last night’s coalescence
brings you into focus—we see
a colony of shot glasses succumbing to filth
a cake-smothered blade redacting cuts for a still life
two lemons waiting for the artist of this place to vomit himself into sobriety.
and the night moves through like wind in a tunnel,
the guests making that same sad whistle
as they travel hallway
Here, a timbral celebration
bewildered eyes and faces meeting
to share a piece of this surprise.
Inevitably, we eat this
too—the space between us experts call Platonic—
and resume the grinding intimacy
of whiskey and comfortable places to sit.
But before ceding the night to sofas
and the front stoop,
we stumble back into the room of plenty
to make sure
the booze has not wandered off
and the sticky knife has not claimed
beyond the cake.
your life remains still
and we resurge like
blood returning to the heart.
A sacred space
catering to varying degrees
and horror at the
possibilities a body brings forth.
Sitting, humming anger (lukewarm)
and indecision (tepid)
we learn here
that misfortune and sanctity collide—
the parts of ourselves
we cannot keep.
the shadow of your sorrow sliced from the shadow of your face
and still we find ourselves here:
clutching plastic curtains
and scraping serifs against screens
to partition the sum of what we’ve made.
What was once a grinding intimacy
is now crushing
a metronome of bodies fumbling in the dark:
“Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Forget pleasure—it is an unincorporated state in this country of habituation,
a buttress against what the world has to offer
raw meat and ceaseless sky
bleeding onto porcelain plates
crowbars cracking open screens
to spill metal over soft, tactile breathing
political movements political stillness
laughing children fetid water
Our cell rejects these things,
the outer layers forming a crust that begs,
Please, leave us to our quiet,
and do not come until the dark has made a savage of this place.