Reader Poem by Donna Prinzmetal

Donna Prinzmetal wrote this poem inspired by the dis•articulations process, and the prompts and fevered writing exchanged by Terry Wolverton and Elena Karina Byrne in June.


I want to dig in my garden under the tomatoes through the cities of earthworms and find a map. I want the map to be quiet and torn and have the impossible marked on it: everything luminous and easy to find. I can look on the wrinkled paper, yellowed and uneven as skin even after all the ablutions. I can hear the jukebox playing Crazy over and over while the couple wraps themselves around each other for a dance slower than slow. And there, just to the left, is the abandoned house in filled with thousands of flowers, relics of an apology no one believed. On the map you can see the secret passage behind the dresser, the place the stars slid off of the mobile, as the baby reached for them, the grandfather clock stuck at 10:17 with no working second hand but a sturdy insistent heartbeat you can almost hear through the skin of the map. What grows there under the bridge, behind the mimosa trees, what grows under the claw fence, beneath the sludge of that underwater garden? There is a small silvery thing, you can barely hear it, a canticle , a moment that undresses itself until your only company is amnesia, and that’s on the map too, that mishap of memory. Let me find that place on the map where a rivulet of water sluices down the window, but not just any window, the window with an eagle just on the other side and on the map you can see that lilac scented garden bustling with bees. . I’m sorry to tell you this is not my home. I’m out there where the urchins hide, behind the mirror. On the map I can see where my skin used to be, when I had skin, when I had a beginning and a middle. Each object you meet on the map, refuses to be found anywhere else, in midair, in what you might assume is the “real world” but you would be wrong.


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