Bridget Talone

THE MOURNING DOVE’S CRY IS SLOW AND ROUND LIKE A BUTTON BEING PRESSED

Alive, I felt so fat compared to you.
Repetition reinforces certain theses
re: The Stable-I I Am. If I don’t accept
the orange flower, I can’t be dragged into
the scam. I am hiding in what seems to be
a rabbit hutch. Chicken wire cuts the world
in hexagons. I see you in the cold mud
with a daffodil neck. And your daffodil head
like a wet tissue. Admitting that I’m missing
something, I expand. I break the chain. We all
sing it high up in our voices: a floodedness.
Feeling’s a good wire that travels up the throat.
I hear a grisly, jealous kind of breathing and
know I’m not alone. The body holds the feeling.
The feeling hides the wire.

A WEREWOLF

Nothing happens. White scum eddies on the bank.
A little liquor in the ear. A perfumed wax pours out
the candle’s mouth. We attended a hot weather
party. The flowers were crisping in the heat.

My voice pearled up from the guts of my experience
like roe. Experience: firm quivering pile with
voice. We fuck when I begin to feel I have no
body. Exceed I say and, saying, sit in contradiction.

Nothing happens. A prolapsed realization I
will try to cover with my hands. The dark is fur
for some. In the scalding dark, I feel a werewolf
amble by. A yondering in the bones repeats.

Fellas, to you do I impart this yield.
A yellow smile by the light of appetite.

A CHAIN OF THREE SUGARS

The tomato is a nightshade. Of that
we can be sure. Although this classification
flies in the face of the experience of eating
or beholding the tomato. Most tomatoes
are round and bright and come in colors expressing
an agency, a power, a fundamental
awakeness I only sometimes feel and then, for
no more than hours at a time. As this is
their only visible face, I cannot address
another one. I’m going to eat last
the tomato that is perplexingly shaped like
an urn. The sensuous urn, which could be said to
hold something like nightshade, too. Nightshade is thought
to cause inflammation and flushing in the human
body. In the urn, a shade more generous, more
generative, resides. Like the dreaming mind.
The mind with heavy cloth dropped on it. I’d like to live
where doubt is king. The sun has burned my jeans.
I’d like to show my work but am not exactly sure if
I know how. Not exactly sure if what I do,
when I do this, is work. I identify with
the labors I find for myself in dreams: tossing
the small green ponytails of spider plants into
a plastic bag. Or the mountain of necklaces
flinging themselves off of themselves like desperate
animals. Flimsy, incidental, salvific
labors. Definite, but slight. Where the impulse is
buried but I know how to follow it. The root
of the word nightshade comes from either sun, or soothe.
I didn’t mean to say king. Get yourself another
fool is a line I sometimes hear inside.
Also the word shed. But is it Come get or Go
get? At issue is the fool and how near to me
she is. Shed like “Shed a little light.”

DOG EYE

This egg I couldn’t eat because it was too beautiful.
This egg I wouldn’t eat because I was proud of it.
A dog eye is an anxious eye. A needy little eye
have I, I just don’t open it every day. I can’t decide

if I want to feed it. I can’t do the division, I complain
about the math. I complain about all the small pieces
in the pile. But now we’re in the middle of the poem
where I don’t worry about coming loose. You said

He was suffering, in his mouth, when he spat it out.
He spat it out and whispered that it tasted like sewage.
What is power? If you listen for it. If you won’t eat it,

if you find yourself sketching its known and imagined
features—            Sometimes a feminine insistence on
the slowing down of time, like a pale root, crosses us.

Bridget Talone

Bridget Talone is the author of Sous Les Yeux (Catenary Press, 2017) and The Soft Life, forthcoming from Wonder in 2018. Recent work has appeared in jubilat and Ugly Duckling Presse’s 6×6.