This week, a poem by Elisa Gonzalez.

 

FURIES

 

Two great tits skirmishing
at the feeder.

*

Age five, eliminated
from musical chairs.

*

Bee, sighing out its stinger.

*

Age ten: seven days locked
in a blue room.
Daddy’s
doing.

*

What cures malaise.

*

Age sixteen.
Steak knife thrown
at Mama for—
lost now.

*

Willful forgetfulness.

*

Age twenty-one, listening
to a man discourse
over sweet Chardonnay:
No woman is really
bisexual, that’s all
for our benefit.

*

Concealed-carry license.

*

Lover waking me
to rattle
a confession out,
boxer’s hands
clasping my neck.
Age twenty-six.

*

What follows repentance.

*

Cigarette cast away
before it burns
itself out.

*

The faces of demons
in altarpieces.

*

Armor of the illustrious dead.

*

Naked Diana
after a man
lays eyes on her
independence.

*

Ages seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, etc.,
groped by a friend.

*

Age twenty-three, raped
by a friend.
What follows.

*

What follows
a drive
to the sea
in those
early hours
to kneel
and dig
my fingers
in night-cold
sand until
the sense
of uselessness
takes hold.

*

A lathe, spinning.

*

The famous wives of bad men:
Griselda, who must have desired
homicide, and Clytemnestra,
who went ahead and did it.

*

Abortion-clinic gauntlet:
signs beat the air
like an oak in a storm.

*

Jezebel. The mob
rips gold hoops
from her earlobes.

*

Insufficient funds.

*

What follows
a friend-no-longer
declaring himself
ally, no,
defender
of women,
thus suddenly beloved
on Facebook,
the closest thing
to victory I
can imagine.
In that moment
at least.

*

The love of God
in many parts of Old
and even New
Testaments
and of history.

*

The head that bows
stiff-necked
for God or Man.
The neck I bare to the knife.

*

The word freedom
used carelessly
or at all.

*

What rejects
the moon
as a subject for poetry.

*

What rejects
poetry—after all
a poor substitute
for pain.

*

Preceding lines, the pen
that made them,
the hand that did
more to ruin
than the mouth.

——

ELISA GONZALEZ is a queer Puerto Rican writer raised in the Midwest. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Mississippi Review, Narrative, Prelude, Tin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. A graduate of Yale University and the New York University creative writing program, she has received support from the Norman Mailer Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a Fulbright Scholar in creative writing and lives in Warsaw, Poland.



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