October, I see you and I am getting closer and A Letter
photo by Eliot Duncan
January 13th, 2020
Like a queen, I wrap myself in garments and never touch the floor.
The earth hardens, and like a queen,
I claim months as my own.
I tie October to a bed and watch it rattle.
Watch it sneak calls and will itself branch-naked.
I swirl my month in my mouth.
I consider its taste and potency. Sneak it under the seat
and, queen-like, deny its existence.
October is in the cellar thinking about what it’s done.
I am in a mood for celebration.
I see you and I am getting closer
October, you are getting soft in your old age
even the sight of an insect
brings you to tears.
You cannot tell if crying is good behavior
Let’s make a raft together let’s make
a calm memory – No.
Out of kindness, I gave you a window.
You see the outside is full of parts –
the sight itself could make the skin shrivel
like stone fruit – getting sweeter
sober you believe paper to be made
of leaves and those fallen wings
to be important
My god I am wholly cruel.
I have left you like a prayer to swing and swing in your own container.
I have sewed my name into yours I have used you like a tarp.
The best would have been to carve my words into a bowl
the way a stomach hollows itself
the way a bowel slyly becomes the center
of a system.
Or had I hoped to disappear in all this
to glow along the edges of a
softer feeling. The valve between here and there
a fine crystal. crisp air.
I gave in quick so
the weak echo
of something I knew
a note bent upward:
Sallie Fullerton is a writer from Philadelphia. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in Frontier Poetry and Vagabond City.