Susannah Habecker  © 2009 All Rights Reserved

Exoskeleton

Being inebriated is not the same
as being an invertebrate,
although the maintenance of rigid lines
may obscure taxonomic categories.

I resemble a beetle
sloshing around inside
while my hard legs
neatly grapple chair and air.

I am strong but my days are slippery.
Gnawing at my jaw
is the never-vanished nostalgia
for a time when I didn’t exist.

 

***

Five P.M.

–I was walking home, released
and I reached the shortcut
offering every solace.

I walk here with my head full of accelerants–

Vanessa picked raspberries
by this culvert, brandishing her scratched arms.

I would like to see her
from a great distance,
as she was and will be
with fine, white hair
and ripples lipped
in the path of her skin.

For a moment I felt like a page
already written and floating
over the cottonwoods:

I didn’t need to hoard myself.
I could stop measuring.

 

 

Samn Stockwell
Copyright © 2009 

Samn Stockwell won the National Poetry Series and has had work published in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Seneca Review. Her second book, Recital, won the Editor’s Prize at Elixir. She lives and works in Montpelier, Vermont.


Table of Contents            Next Poem            Guidelines