MOUTH-OFF (I)

A POEM BY SONYA VATOMSKY

You knock on the door

and my throat fills with ghosts; they’re floating inside

like salmon returned to the wrong stream,

someone else’s bad memories — what is this and how and why

did it come to me? My voice a starved kitten’s voice

No mother-cat to smooth panic soft, swat my paw. Instead:

A year crawls out my gaping mouth

Tripping on tonsils, hurling red past teeth

Some tiny, half-thing meant for one sweet breath exits,

looks around; then stillness

Its womb is my dry lips are a historic war-site in my bodybag

We drain it from me, onto your bed

Midwife, exorcist, priest or perfect idiot?

I’m muttering something but it doesn’t matter, never does

 

Malise RosbechComment