by Petra Kuppers
Try to write of aggression
of terror in white and green
of blood-curdling horror, red, red, read,
but all that appears before me is
tick the time tock tick tick
and my hands on the sheet field breathe
my nails grow, ragged inside
and my mind breaks gently, fallen in calm repose
into the world behind the milk,
beyond the sheet,
The hands are gone, the legs, my knees,
the neck tethered to the world by a small red line,
the mainline, where blood sluices out on command.
but I float free, on dried poppy sap, I dream,
or the cloying smell of an opium den in Victorian London.
I braid a landscape out of milk,
entwine my hair, seal with blood clots,
kiss the envelope goodbye.
Eurydice's opera dream in La Salpêtrière
as I learn to play my part,
patiently waiting for my next cue
milk rain coming down around me
into a milk bath they push my head,
I am gone.