Un Clou Chasse L’Autre

By CATHERINE POND 

When I was with the bartender,
I didn’t see a field of yellow flowers
when I closed my eyes.
There was no superbloom
the way there’d been with you,
and my heart didn’t burst open
when he put his mouth to my mouth.

Likewise, when I gazed at the truck driver’s torso,
I didn’t see a body, but a screwdriver,
something to wound myself with,
which is neither here nor there
since loving you was also a willful form
of self-destruction.

But when I was with the architect,
I was too busy getting tied up to tell myself
I deserved to die. And when
I was with the male model,
I was too busy learning the map
of his body to spend the night
organizing old love poems I’d written you,
like Gretel gathering breadcrumbs.

And when I was with the fisherman,
I wasn’t imagining the weight of my body
underground, gathering rain. Instead,
I was listening to the soft song
of his breathing beside me like the sea.

Listening to his breath reminded me
that I was alive, and of all the reasons
we go on living. I’m not talking about sex
or flowers, or the occasional flood
of affection.

I’m talking about the superbloom. Which arrives
only once every X amount of years.
But it always arrives.

 

[Purchase Issue 15 here.]

Catherine Pond lives in Los Angeles, where she is a ​PhD student in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her poems and essays have appeared in many magazines, including Narrative, Boston Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books

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