" I was a thing to be done to."

More Perihelion:

BobSward's Writer's Friendship Series


Needto Know



Issue9: The Missing Body

Issue8: The Lily

Issue7: Passages

Issue6: No More Tears

A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Quan Barry

Cal Bedient

Joshua Bell

Nadia Colburn

Carolina Ebeid

Odysseas Elytis

Nathalie Handal

Connie Hershey

Timothy Liu

Drago Stambuk

Franz Wright

Nadia Herman Colburn

(The Cat)

Saw the barn door at a distance
          that appeared then complete.
Lay down in the offering earth,
          I incumbent, wishing for,
leaving it to let it happen for me--
          fur down, back down
to the cool ground, all unalloyed
          as if this once were singular.

When my surfaces pulled themselves apart,
          I was a thing to be done to
as myself to myself I held out the string,
          coaxing the body indoors--
I had been here before: by the slow cows,
          their round eyes big as paws,
by the goats -- was a thing to be done
          across, as the sky--
alone to the saw-edged ribbon of light
          cutting the body
from the throat, bearing down.
          Until I was not:

Three glabrous forms, whiney beneath me,
          searching for food.
This time, perhaps, if they stay with me,
          I will catch for them each
                   a bird.