Featured Writer: Gail Goepfert
Everything moves in tune with what the belly contains
—Without Hope, 1945
Slight in your oak-framed confinement
your naked body presses the sheets—
swims in moon-pie shaped
microbes and cells.
The artless easel drools
fishheads, a plucked chicken, the leg end
of a turkey, stringed sausages that hang
with eviscerated entrails—
funneling food-fuel to your lips
putting living on hold.
How might I prune back
the evidence of your suffering?
Only the sugar skull
sweetens the unbutchered meat
you swallow and regurgitate—
an ill-fated omen,
your name printed above the caverns for eyes.
This is not the rhapsody in the marriage bed
you long for.
Not a dreamy diaphanous starlit night.
I want to cup your tears, pour
them like bleach on this hope-defiled canvas,
remove the sun rimmed in red,
a blazing marigold.
Let me dim the proof of your wound—
leave only the soft moon to dimple your sky.
About the writer:
Gail Goepfert is a poet and photographer and a teacher. She’s an associate editor at RHINO Poetry. Her books include A Mind on Pain, 2015 and Tapping Roots, 2018, and a third, Get Up Said the World, which will be released in early 2019 by Červená Barva Press.
Image: “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central” by Diego Rivera. Mural. 51 x 15 feet. 1946-47. Restored after 1985. By free license.