who has risen from the earth, soiling when the word wants,
traipsing when the body kneels?
point taken. when i rise it’s your room. when i sleep
i slumber in your shroud. simple as all things under
my eye. but the eye’s a clock, a lung, light blue rotary
phone. hold an ear up to the sky. when you’re wanting
i will practice freezing at the thought of touch. kneecaps
in the dirt, blotched red for days. just the thought of you
is shield & carriage, cup so full it leaks wine. traipsing,
how i scorned those desert tracks. ungrateful bride.
now i’ll scorn the men who look twice, call me toward
the body. when mine is other-worldly, mangled,
limp and lucid as a kite.
baby, the day’s ghoulish. nicked my knuckle on it.
and no sight of robert, of the tooth’s turning.
bent my back into it, swung around to damage
like i earned it. and i earned it. you remember
when the hour was late and then was soot.
tried to shake it from my garments, tried
to shake him like a train shakes north, all
that clicking metal, tongue set fire. baby,
he was empty like a metal cage. where’s
he going. have you gone there. gone. there.
Mackenzie Kozak is a poet & therapist living in Asheville, NC. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, DIAGRAM, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, Poetry Northwest, Sixth Finch, Thrush Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Her manuscript in place of a mouth & far-flung was a 2018 finalist of the National Poetry Series. Find her online at mackenziekozak.com