A Poem by Catie Rosemurgy

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

In Which Blame Like Formaldehyde Is an Attempt to Preserve the Dead

In which composite of bad things
In which grown up huge from seed

In which I don’t know who is speaking
In which why do you think I would?

In which what happened and what didn’t switch places
In which in that way a girl matters

In which first the tart and then the lemon
In which first the burning and then the witches

In which density of the forest
In which small ones don’t get enough light
In which dead ones stand for years held up by the living ones around them

In which women refuse to be named
In which guessing is a pattern called Seven Sisters
In which whoever told you metaphor is figurative?
In which what happened props up one end of a wooden plank
and what didn’t props up the other

In which the surface isn’t quite even
In which I put the bad ideas in mason jars that I tie with twine and hang across my porch

In which women become interchangeable as an adaptive advantage
In which like the crayfish’s exoskeleton
In which both make a noise when crushed

In which I forget how to phrase things as questions

In which metaphor is the scissors and the glue
In which you are cut into an arrow-shape and hung as road sign

In which trees actually do matter
In which no one prunes a whole forest
In which fire does
In which you are already too large to be dug up and replanted into good soil

Catie Rosemurgy is the author of two collections of poetry, My Favorite Apocalypse and The Stranger Manual, both published by Graywolf Press. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at The College of New Jersey.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.