Temper Cento



Move closer. I want to tell you
a story. It has its blood knots,
its changing water, long fingers
of grass, the bud of a dull tattoo—
heavy as a tongue pressed
into a book. The woman, without
warmth, peels a strip of flesh and
places it in her palm like a broken
helix. Exposed skin glints like
a husk of lace threshed. The film
on the moon—light reflected
from a surface startles dusk-loose
gnats toward a sound—something
ancient burrows its white heart
into the girl, binding to another
backbone. This is what stops us
from touching. When we look up here,
we do not see Orion; we see a silhouette
shot full of holes, the flushing
of a flock after a trigger—

 

Source: Lines are borrowed from the following Beth Bachmann poems in her collection Temper: “Paternoster,” “First Mystery of My Sister,” “Elegy,” “Weather,” “Talk Show,” “Evasion,” “Hunger,” “Concealment,” “Mimicry,” “Panic,” “Hell,” “Sorrowful Mystery,” “Cold Logic” and “Mystery Beneath a Handprint of Light.”


Christine Pacyk is a high school English teacher by day and a writer by night.  She will complete her MFA in poetry at Northwestern University in December 2011.  In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, running, biking, spending time with her husband, and playing with her three crazy dogs.

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