A process of cleaning out
By Loisa Fenichell
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