CONVERSATION WITH THE STONE WIFE
Nothing interests me anymore. A garden is too enthusiastic
to be alive for its own sake. The highway, now that is something.
I want to be paved into colorless stone. Because you don’t
believe me anymore and you’ve lodged with too many sisters,
am I correct in saying the engines of trucks sound arcane,
that you love the unbelievable smoke of winners? Define desire:
when have I ever made isolation difficult, it is my primary vocative
as when the cars pedal their blood-speed down the interstate.
They bend as you, swerve around struck geese as you word
your desires. Define for me a body. I guess at its opposite: crows lift
heavily from powerlines at the scattergun of a flabby man,
everywhere the smell of semen ersatz from dogwoods. Bereft.
These hours spin, are the aspirin dust of every horse gallop.
I’ve ceased my worries of being fathomed. I am stone. Sex.
No need for coddling, no need for linear paths of diction.
In the parade, I am a distant cousin’s milktooth rattling
a mason jar. Someday the man with his gun will lift his legs
into a fabulous pair of corduroy. That sound will be a caw,
not the soundtrack of desiccated desert bones. But the highway:
Crowded buses move the forsythia with definitive violence
in a way I know means I will never know touch. How cruel
to be so heavenly a body without body, the charge and wail
of skin and city and distance. Last winter the life of a battery
could poison the oceans forever—how could I bore of this?
Since then the arctic seas have warmed. Disasters loom
with smug portending. I want to be opened, for someone’s gaze
on my awful fissures. To be smelled for the ice age inside me.
Natalie Eilbert‘s poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Tin House, Guernica, West Branch, Spinning Jenny, Colorado Review, Sixth Finch, Bat City Review, and many others. Her poetry criticism can be found on The Rumpus. She is a founding editor of The Atlas Review, and lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY.