the poetry that matters

Maggie Wack

Maggie Wack is a writer from Waltham, Massachusetts.

We are all starving here

Form is everything:
it looks like it will rain soon
and the atmosphere is blue and black
like bruises,
the effects of heavy punches thrown by careless, hungry gods.
(There are no gods for the hungry,
the hungry cannot save themselves,
or do more than be consumed by their desires.
We are like that.)
My aching stomach is red and ruptured, proof that
I am no child
reproduction is a vicious cycle and
I can hear them crying out inside me
and I could free them, if I wanted to,
I could grow round, distort,
spew out new generations.
My legs are strong and white
and hungry,
I want and I do not want,
I flee from consequence.
The letter of the law is literature,
my gaudy vernacular protests
on ancient ears
and fade against the oceanic sky as if they were absorbed
by pious ring-fingered cloud-brides
and disapproving
I am short by four months or an eternity,
I am an innocent still.
It looks like it will rain soon.
The trees jut up like my knees from the kitchen floor,
the grey sky through the windows is sympathetic,
adheres to the natural order of things,
but the bulbs posted in strict lines across the ceiling are yellow spies
and will inform
the authorities of these transactions,
my mouth watering,
my elbow intimate,
incriminating you with a finger on the back of your right arm
before I am devoured one way or another
like a snake or infinity.


Cancers are everywhere
- the air is fraught with them -
and we tell our mothers all about the elegance of dying young.
We are sore and red
and aching,
we are discovering things:
whole new worlds
of gold and silver and sparkling ocean views,
rich lands replete with wrinkled, ignorant aboriginal populations and no appreciation of irony.
We can't help but explain the sky to the sky in sharp, brutal, illuminating summer sweeps of wind
this is what it means to grow
we may never stop such a grand upward procession
because if we do
we will
only be middle-aged
and spent
and we all stake claims on neverlands
and stock our purses to prevent the misfortunes of children and time.
We are careless
and lazy touches of the arm
and intimacies
and confidence,
we are full-lipped and full-cheeked and full-stomached
and we are taking the world into our mouths over messy
and choking it down raw
and bringing the sun into our eyes with the whole-minded certainty that
we will be able to read in the dark forever
and never grow blind.

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