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for taking me away

Arianne Zwartjes

I. plumb / leaden

gravid with its own loss. there are small stitches all up this arm. remember, the gravel pit, the slight skid once it began unstoppable, but hung there, teetering until we were down. when we drove to wyoming. i wanted out of the truck and it was spinning so fast. once i thought fumble and that’s what we’ve done. the five am diner and all that, i was so open and now, finally, i’m closed. no vacancy. oh & you were seductive, dusty grit, every word invited. on the porch is the old chair whose rungs are broken; they ache like teeth when they look at me. the porchlight is out.

i am trying to leave every word in, to bluster, to show myself.

II. forgive me for taking me away from you. the landscape was unsafe

the lipstick’s run out and the air has taken on an edgy chill. my bicycle pedals are falling off. the drunken piano, etc., crimson ink in the pen, every day there are moles cut out of skin, & silicon breast implants just reapproved for the american breast. the dutch have banned the burqa and someone i love has scars all over their shoulders. i don’t know how to stop taking me away. some dinner, perhaps & then every step toward ends. i can’t stop making. i don’t want meaning at random.

III. i think words do this to your body

they’ve cut you open and now they will stitch you together. i tell my mother you’ve started testosterone and she asks if you will go all the way. the surgery they can do isn’t great i tell her, they can’t do the bottom stuff so well. oh she says. your voice hasn’t changed yet i say you are on the smallest dose possible. none of this is my story anymore. still it somehow pulls my elbows down. i cut me open and stitch. straight up the arm. keep letting and letting and thinking you’re out of there. my mother asks about. this is a different conversation than we had years ago. she can say the words.

Arianne Zwartjes

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