Jennifer Chapis

His yellowish form collapsed like a horse on the blue mattress

                              an island surrounded by clement waters.
In the den of his ravaged liver I've hung heavy drapes.

For one second
be in danger of the truth.

A windowsill wren cocks its head, eyes
like bookends.

In the broken mirror's branches my horse-god stretches
and shakes.

Must be death I adore.

Don't tell me negative
space defines shape.

The mind
busies itself with decoration—

                              Mist. Waterfall—
Drift into it.

Dust-shaft of

charm the room.




"Cirrhosis in Verse" is from a larger body of self-reflective work that interrogates the slipperiness of truth. The poems deal in concentrated emotional and intellectual reckoning, exploring the process by which internal and external realities fight to become conscious enough to speak, if possible, in chorus.