A process of cleaning out & Poem for some sort of security by Loisa Fenichell

A process of cleaning out

Winter, then, kept the body cold.

I was saved by a woman blowing

some whistle & corn pipe. My voice

was dead. I kept a diary in my head,

where only God could see. I was feverish,

fervent in my love for what I could not

understand. In my own love I have carried

the skin of no animal, sharpened few teeth.

This is a poem in which mine

are always brushedin which boy, you

are so fine & full of flesh. The narrative

of me is exactly here, where you, reader,

have resided all your life, in this emptiness.

I will make a bet that we all at least once

have brushed our hairs. If I am wrong, I will

give to you myself, even my body, which

hangs, so is not very pretty. When you read

this wrens will fly like the toothbrush flung

across the bathroom, between the couple

in the apartment across the way, between

you & me, they are constantly arguing. Tonight

my words are animals, very small & frightened.

Tell me this: in which part of yourself

does desire exist & where? I promise you

who reads this I will not share your deepest

secret. Only that, when the ambulance comes,

I am close to half-asleep, which is an excuse

to be so scared, to be human, to be human,

to grow cold when all of the others do.


Poem for some sort of security

By Loisa Fenichell

We have sat with grief all

this time. It has proven

simple as hunger, as wearing

a cloth skirt on a rained-in

day. The willows across

this eaten earth remain bent

as great ships. I mean to call

a friend: a call in which joy feels

unnecessary. Still there is much

contentment in the act

of listening, in being listened to:

favorite colorslacked blue

& favorite foodcold chocolate

left somewhere in the fridge

like another world. Elsewhere

I mean to find my other half:

it should be so elementary:

swimming through a lake

split as twin deer & across

the shore there awaits the waited

for figure. The rule is this: what

we know we must forever make

lucid. Yet coherence these days

comes with great pains. There

is comfort in putting off the definition

of any word. But tell me, friend:

I wish to know your most grievous

secret, to get to the core of you.

I have spent all this afternoon

with no infant yet still have found

myself crying into bowls of flour

with which I meant to bake a cake.

Can a family go without cake

for just one night. Can a family be safe.

Loisa Fenichell's work has been featured or is forthcoming in various publications, such as Winter Tangerine Review, Voicemail Poems, Poetry Northwest, Guernica Magazine, and Tupelo Quarterly. Her debut collection, "all these urban fields," was published by nothing to say press. She is an MFA candidate at Saint Mary's College of California and currently lives in Oakland, CA.

Art by Adam Hacker