Is It True?

That no one wants to read the poem I wrote after Lidija Dimkovska?

Finding it hard to believe, finding belief is hard …




Lidija Dimkovska has made a bomb of my eyes, pulled the pin and
women become the new ramparts from which we watch the old world spin
into you know what gets them: the vacuum,
the tweezers, the archway of Gotham that invites us
to Slovenian cities, Serbian farms, Croatian seasides,
all the way to a little boat that rides the moat
of give me everything with nothing,
the mouth that makes gestures, eyes that eat at digestive sounds,
ears that send words for the censure of players
exhibiting the Christian accent in
beetle-winged chords, beyond which I swallow the air and am stuffed
with American promise of a flat sky’s mouth
opening and surrounding itself in one fat gulp. I sell
thin vine snakes into my lover’s arteries, her knee cannot bear
the pressure of how long I disappear in discussions at the disco
or saccharine flowers, and the way her eyes gambol.
I said to you beneath the glittery ball, watching her little legs twist,
“We all know the beyond words, before within, but do words know us?”
Language speaks our very tender selves
into birth but do words look human
as silhouettes and know their creators, their creatures,
call us ships and light lanterns, bang crosses, call stars, or nail us
to the bow and bow before us
and cry to wish to love and touch us, our blooded sticky brows?
Do they chart their lives to tremble in the cracks of their own imperfect smiles?
The prayers they bear, do they know the way
we toy with their spinning topless heads?
My insect flies at your insect with spindly legs whose sticks are chalk
marks traced into the world with karate chops,
dusty hairs that trace the outline of air
in hopes of finding jaw skin, cheek corners, chiseled lips of what gets spoken
and kiss the crevice between insect mouth and mammal eye,
no distance between countries but the sky’s mouth on repeat
enveloping mother and thumb at the heels of a baby thumb, the coos that sling
past and bleats that melt into pleas of karaoke machines by instinctual women
who tune their oxygen to revolving seats of stardom, the little sexy bleating lambs.

–Amy King

To Be Your Housewife…


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AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I, too, read it, and say (as always) it goes beyond simple literal “understanding” to something eloquent, drowned, strange but not estranged. Those insects are especially elusive and wooing . . . !

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