National Poetry Month Day 25: Natalie Eilbert
Lay a Lionlimb Against Me
It began as a white root, my notions
grand. I tell my people, Open, they do
not. I considered what it meant
to live on a threshold, the teenclub
a lozenge in my head, miracle limbs.
What does it mean to dance without
knowing the conclusion of the body’s
form, to learn to grind because two
hands grip ass cheeks as Tanto Metro
blares I don’t know ‘bout you but it ain’t
a crime, the hips shut-up swing, friends
who nod and grip and shiver among
shuttering lights, tongue down throat.
I slide strawberry slices in my mouth,
the tart guidance trailing brightness.
It’s the memory we’re always after,
I tell them, as they pitch their backs
and take eat in the dirt, the ground
a kind of past the way my love for
girlhood lingers unremarkably. Bones,
isn’t it, a thought in reverse, that
they scatter sidewalks after rotisserie,
that they can be human and blue
washed to the shore, an anti-ode.
I learned of rotisserie early, a girl
swallowing light in both directions.
It was a joke to push the thumb in,
zipper a riff on couch and succor.
It’s the fucking we’re always after,
the jerry-rigged plan to strip bare
every part purity could not.
The poem wants to be quiet for once
but it hums a melody behind
a smothering palm as it also wants
blood. Dear Sara, Dear Catherine,
remember when you saw my boots
shin-down in the bathroom stall,
the legs glowing interplanetary.
We do not learn what it means
to make light of events. Glutted
world forced inside, my god, a prism
we aren’t clear we need to forgive.
Photograph of Natalie Eilbert by Mark Koranda.