Gretchen Mattox

space of conclusions

the heart extends to consciousness:  your gift:  longing

scintillating lake	and then	air of non-being (receive me not)

so God could		learn to love your own broken aspect	season of quakes 

and aftershocks				house with palsy

beyond recourse: The I wholly ether

No desire for body or voice.
	Gulp air.  Hope:  out of the question.

I was trying to find some compassion.

Shame said, there is refuge in ruin.
How could I rest?

We lived in shame's fullest expression.

My period, slightly macabre in cloud prints
	On white sheets.

(Where the lines of memory don't meet…)

I was explicitly drawn inward.

Worm in the brain.

The toilet stopped.

letters of dominion

I gave and gave and gave until I had no way back to myself
	all night and into dawn the owl's other-worldly hoot hoooo

the past:  a syringe with pink fluorescent syrup that numbed the hips

what did it mean to have to double back? 
point where I would have gladly given over my life

wound that opens into forever like a river blood-let into sea

pure oblique

as if you needed pulling me pulse gardenia up over your face to give
as much as I needed tongue frantic scent through window ruckus
let myself be off guard unbound tired of measured increments
steady steps of the uncertain to hold the rail out of habit only
we let words go by the wayside travelers in another dimension joined past touch
ocean air lines blurred outer/inner
gardenia blossom vibrant body on the pillow where you'd placed it
when we came back to our separateness such openness
You and your Latin guitar "Bread of Life" rendition of
rent due car broken four years later you would punch my arm retaliated:  loser

Gretchen Mattox is the author of Goodnight Architecture, New Issues 2002 and Buddha Box, a Green Rose Prize winner, New Issues 2004. She lives and works in Santa Monica, California.