I WANT TO TELL RACHEL CARSON ABOUT RAPE CULTURE
Rachel, what if my wish is to stand in the driveway
& not be ogled.
By the trees, by the Chevy, by
the mailman’s dog.
Rachel, what if I own a scarf
knitted by a man convicted of rape.
Green and beige.
And what if
I wear it around my neck.
When is he
while raping or forever.
Rachel, if I live in a rape culture,
what did you,
born in 1907, live in.
there were periods of time
when people were having rape,
but calling it sex.
Or not calling it anything.
Rachel, what to do
with the word monster.
Where are the question
JENN LOYD DISCOVERS THAT NOTHING BAD EVER HAPPENED
AT RACHEL CARSON’S CHILDHOOD HOME
The only things to see are a sassafras tree, doorglass,
a red-breasted robin invasion.
So I, who pathologize everything, am out
of place, even though I manage to visit
in the hour between rain and more rain.
I come to see the underbelly of the heart-shaped rock—
the trap door leading to the bottomless well
of motherly love, and the father-archetype
misting between branches in the orchard.
I come prepared for the mess and swash
of biography. The docent likes questions,
but she doesn’t ask them. She strikes a tone
when the word homosexual comes up
two parts no, one part
why does this keep coming up?
The river, down where the stacks smoke,
would be just visible in winter.
“In a bad economy,” she relates, “the townsfolk turn on her
memory.” A vine twisting back onto itself.
JENN LOYD ADMITS TO PLAYING PYGMALION WITH THE ARCHIVE
Porcelain Rachel Carson, how shall I dress
you, your own drab browns or this stolen
green? What will I play you—Tchaikovsky’s Sixth—the open-heart
surgery of it, or rain
on a sea urchin’s drum? Will I bend you
over the microscope’s sterile light? Chassé you from closet
to pedestal? Will I ever stop
shrugging on and off the biographer’s skin?
Chisel in fist, I imagine want
onto you and then identify with your want.
Sculpture—a body tearing into a body.
I would equip you
with a sway bar. With vine-black nights,
charred grapevines and salt, me at your feet.
Photograph of Jennifer Loyd by Noah Baldino.