Janus

I.

We drive to Anacortes in our state of silence

bigger than our island, bigger than the Sound, bigger than Washington.

We drive over the Deception Pass bridge connecting
Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island and we watch
the winter’s tidal flow move fast and rough
while the scattering of tiny tree-covered lands beneath us
sleep like turtles in their shells.

It is January 1st; nothing feels new.
This silence is our ancient secret.

II.

My love, we keep moving the target; the definition keeps changing.
We tried to name the absence of sound and then gave up on naming.

III.

We park in front of the restaurant and
with our kiss we attempt to birth an
electricity of words and sounds, but
the sharp corners and tight pleats of
his uniform build a cold that
hovers above us like snow, and
our January fails to seed, and
our calendar burns when we touch it,
and we eat dinner
while our silence
eats up another
of our years.

 

Chaffey Review, spring 2010

The Interim

A space, a square—
you rearrange my skin with one hand,
complicating the gesture while simplifying my frame.

A space, a square where time has been canceled,
stripped of its original function.
The interim?

You sit in your desk chair,
it is another factor, something else to add to your formula.
How would I look on your graph?

Your expression, it expresses nothing,
it is devoid of meaning, there are no implications.

Did you ever stop to think how much science there is in your gestures?
How much architecture in your expressions?

I get the sense that you are emerging,
in the process of becoming.
The interim?
You amplify.

I climb onto your lap while you are busy typing and you tell me this.

You peel me back, unfold me with just one arm, just one eye. Open me.
Why don’t you play with the air between open and closed,
shelter and wideness,
angles and curves.

Instead, you create a space, an absence of endings and possibilities

 

FORTH magazine, issue 4
http://forthmagazine.com/download/2009/09/forth-magazine-issue-4/

The Opening

we’re breathing into each other—
our two bodies, spooning and forking.

i think of the math that enters this—
the air, the mattress;
of the geology contained in this moment—
earth’s crust, sound’s waves.

i inhale inside our space to astronomize
that the freckles on your spine are planets colliding.

do you recognize my language?
yes, but you misread the text
while the diaphanous morning light
performs card tricks on the ceiling.

they tell me a story
while we move to the music
of doors shutting,
televisions in other rooms.

as i name each gesture,
identify each
flick of body,

in this poem i’ll write us a language,
compare you to weather.

i’m kind of a liar;
i’ve forged your signature
all over my body.

 

Poetry Quarterly, fall 2010
http://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Quarterly-Fall-Contributing-Authors/dp/1456590219

Glass

You explained to me
how my ovaries work
because I really didn’t know.
Described the egg release.
Drew me a picture
of tubes and pelvis,
my interior
working. You said
you were jealous.
I laughed, crumpled,
tossed your picture.
A year later
tossed you, forgot
how my ovaries work.

Today I saw
a stained-glass window,
greenblue and purple,
shaped like your picture
of ovaries.
Felt terrible.

 

Chaffey Review, spring 2010

Eating Mushrooms in the Sequoia National Park

I am covered in earth, high on mushrooms and pacing the Lake Isabella shoreline in a bell-shaped curve, an empty trajectory. There’s a group of us and the consensus is that they taste disgusting and when the nausea hits you know they’re working, but I think they taste like chocolate and chalk and I’m not… Continue reading Eating Mushrooms in Sequoia National Park

Abigail Green-Dove poetry Forth magazine Eating Mushrooms in Sequoia National Park

I am covered in earth,
high on mushrooms and pacing the Lake Isabella shoreline
in a bell-shaped curve, an empty trajectory.
There’s a group of us and the consensus is that
they taste disgusting and when the nausea hits
you know they’re working, but
I think they taste like chocolate and chalk,
and I’m not feeling nausea as much as machismo.

We’ve spiraled out into rings dependent on
how many stems we ate and how fast our metabolism is
with Daniel and the two Alexes
(Alex with the knives and Alex with the guitar)

in the smallest, center ring, talking to trees and
holding conversations with the kings
on playing cards. Meanwhile, I’m
at the farthest ring looking in, high
but not too high, drawing nonsense in the dirt.

The dirt streaked on my arms seeming muscles,
the slick sunscreen on my arms seeming sweat.
I feel masculine, powerful, a chauvinist
and I say, “I need a blowjob and a beer.”
One of the Alexes (I can’t remember which)
comes to and asks if that’s what I think men think
and it is.

I never want to wash again, or sleep, move, fall in love again.
I want to feel the dirt caked on my body forever.
I want to smell like dirt and sleep in it and wake up
still smelling like dirt and trees and dead grass.
But the moment passes,
the mushrooms digest into my body
evaporate into my bloodstream.
I take a lukewarm shower in the campground bathroom,
wash the masculinity out of my hair,
watch my power roll down the drain.

Forth magazine, issue 4
forthmagazine.com/contributing-writers/2009/06/eating-mushrooms-in-the-sequoia-national-park
 

Prolapsed

Prolapsed: To fall or slip out of place; the falling down or slipping out of place of an organ or part
*Based on the short story “Guts” by Chuck Palahniuk

 
To begin with, I am forty-six chromosomes.
At week six my insides develop
covered by layers—
skin, muscle, soft bones.
Now this,
thirteen years grown,
an adult almost,

and inside out.
Reverse birth like reverse evolution,
man turning back into ape
or me turning back into one
enthusiastic sperm.

(At a dirty friend’s suggestion I sat at the bottom of my swimming pool feeling the sucking of the circulation pump as I came).

Viscera,
like cheap yellow birthdaycake frosting
sucked out, floating up
in one long, soft thread.
My insides, once held down,
now rapidly ascending,
detached and independent,
stretching for their first choke of air,
reaching the top where the sun
jumps off the water’s surface
and flickers with each small fold.

Mom says: Get out of the pool.
Get out. Come to dinner.
Tell me to get out,
to get out and come to dinner,
wrap me in a towel warm from the dryer,
my body dripping DNA
at the dining table
where we’ll eat pot roast and I’ll complain
about the broccoli.

Chlorinated water bloats inside my empty layers.
I chew through myself.
My braced teeth sink in, spring up,
try to tear into me.

That hard sucking noise
and my heartbeat.

 

Gauge magazine, fall 2007
https://issuu.com/knowgaugebetter