to it. i write
the truest thing i ever knew.
like clockwork each ping
of a key rings true.
clicks in. one month
it went for weeks, on
and off, a leaky
it only trickled out.
i hid it from my mother.
the first time it happened
i learned shame,
read it in the women's eyes.
i learned avoidance
from my father, who let
me sit on his lap before.
by now i've prayed so long
that it keeps coming,
rusting the toilet bowl.
i've prayed for mercy
and i have it. and now
i want that accident.
i want to know what it's like
to have my guts pulled out.
i'm playing with fire.
see men only tease
those bulls, or ride them
like little masters.
women see their insides
all the time and it's alright.
everything's coming up roses a bowl full of berries
that stain on the page proof positive orange
a spoof of a life a stall to be occupied
a test to be taken and tossed right out
everything's out damn spot guilt-ridden
a contest of who's on first to blame
even this screen here frying my sockets
even my mother's clean sheets to soil
what a mess the artist her choices
when she was a girl that fear kept her up
she hid it in pockets that bent out of shape
an eye for an i a trough of o's
when u were a kid you just knew some day
you'd mother another filled the right spreadsheets
x'ed on a map and hunted it the artist kept
mostly to herself and away from spoiled lions
what a palette to tarnish a polish with no sheen
a testament to no court who's counting
the evening is green it's a still life a skill
to populate this world with beauty she knows
she's been trying you've got to believe me
doctor she knows what she's doing
Marina Blitshteyn is a Soviet-born poet and writer. She is the author of several chapbooks, including $kill$ (read 'skills') and Nothing Personal. Work can be found in Ghost Proposal, CutBank, 1913, Two Serious Ladies, The Brooklyn Poets Anthology and the &NOW 3 Anthology of Best Innovative Writing. Her first full-length collection, Two Hunters, will be published by Argos Books with a CLMP Face-Out grant. She works as an adjunct instructor.