In the Madame’s Hatbox
dancing girl press, 2011
Stephanie Berger received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and her BA in Philosophy from the University of Southern California. Her poems have appeared most recently in Coconut, HoboEye and pax americana. She is “The Madame” and Artistic Director of The Poetry Brothel.
I have done something that will confuse us.
It shapes a bit like a train moving both ways,
closer to itself, a crumpled bridge,
a badly wrapped gift.
There is something inside. A bird cage
could stand for a home, but it is on its side.
Together we have lied, your wing on my head, and
all this has been held. I have never
been terrified of a cockroach. This moving
both ways, not a sickness of seas. It is the raised
muscle in the neck like an implant. It is my breasts
with the lights out, or a tiny lamp and the dog
hairs all over us I hardly notice,
and the man that is a stiff
drink in the morning that I do,
and he is not you,
and he is not him, and I am not me,
and we three
are alone together in the bed of the earth.
It is so quiet I make smallish sniffing sounds.
I need you so badly it sickens the woods. You were inside
the belly of the tree. You are inside me.