For a poetry portfolio I finished last month, I was tasked with collaborating with another person. My lovely friend Shea Fitzpatrick was already in need of a body for her own work, which I was excited to be a part of because she’s a video art visionary. I then wrote a poem based off of it, and the experience of it.
Her piece, “And There Was,” features my body and my voice. Her work made me love many things I hadn’t noticed, and made me realize that I didn’t need a creation myth–sometimes existing is a constant creation. I am constantly creating. That feeling led me to write this poem.
and my grandmother said
“let there be light”
pulled me out of a black hole already half gone
with my eyes open to see.
and she said,
on the first day, your mother will leave.
on the second, your father will forget how to go.
he is chained to the bed like punishment & waiting
for the vultures,
the third will be just an empty pit.
fourth grade was a chipped tooth grin
so broke I had to learn to love my quirks
by then, no one told me what was coming next.
five months into you, I found I could move out of
my body fluidly, trickle down thighs happy. no
I am not apologizing while you smile up at me from
between my legs.
there are no gaps here.
then later, He asked
how much fiction was involved in the making of me.
and I just bled.
this was on the sixth,
and I had already been boiled, torn to pieces, I had
already given birth to fruit worth dying for.
I just wanted my place in the sky.
but instead, I found water on the seventh.
slipped in and took to the bed like it was
the sliver of a knife I had been waiting for.
the words didn’t come
at exactly the right time. maybe a beat
or two after. but I found
happiness in the