How To Abandon A City
The loneliness is not lonely, but it is easier to deceive yourself.
Dark curvy roads and spindly wheels and lovers are dangerous.
So many things have a history of seeming like something that
I want to call goodness. Historic houses, wombs, the model T Ford.
Apple devices updating overnight. String theory being carefully
explained in the next room. I’m coming to understand spoiled milk
is mostly in process of spoiling before the thing is actually spoiled.
Spill it and we cry; spoil it and we pour it out. My womb is cramping,
blood clots are traveling up and down and down and up my legs.
The realty company wants to sell us a story like that one about a girl
who got the pill stuck in her throat and it melted through her esophagus.
Was that really real? The ghost in the house that haunts me is as real
as I am. Are you dead? Are you dead? Are you dead? I ask google
and the ghosts in the halls of all the haunted houses in this city answer
with low moans. The houses with the ghosts. The ghosts in the hallways.
The spirits stay here stay here stay here and the dry cough cough cough
in the next town over has already packed up and left this history behind
is not my ghost not my ghost not my ghost not my lonely ghost story.
A blue whale’s heart rate is calculated at 37 beats
per minute. Measurement is described as intense,
involving extensive coordination. Descent
into the ocean and the pressure a human body
is subjected to is an additional atmosphere, twice
as much as human lungs are used to. A man holds
his breath for eleven minutes. Depths complicate,
compress and shrink the air-containing spaces
in body and brain. Oxygen starvation feels like
euphoria, like experiencing something miraculous.
It takes two seconds to pump the 220 liters of blood
a blue whale circulates with every heartbeat. There
cannot possibly be a larger animal, the heart cannot
grow fast enough for a greater creature to survive.
A woman holds her breath for nine minutes.
The sensation of rising. Water, water, sunlight,
air. A pulse in the ears. The astonishing
violence as breath fills her lungs, her heart.
Molly Fuller is the author of the full-length collection For Girls Forged by Lightning: Prose & Other Poems (All Nations Press) and two chapbooks Tender the Body (Spare Change Press) and The Neighborhood Psycho Dreams of Love (Cutty Wren Press). Her work has appeared in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence, New Poetry from the Midwest, 100 Word Story, Kestrel, NANO Fiction, and Pedestal Magazine. She is the recipient of a 2020 Artist Residency from both Vermont Studio Center and Wassaic Project. You can find her on Instagram and twitter @mollyfulleryeah.