by Loisa Fenichell
Night lingers like a virus
endlessly. There’s no desire here
but I’m lying. I lie often, lie
awake with you in mind,
and the dark flowers resting
tirelessly atop my bureau
and the little sightings of sadness
and the lack of explanations
for why I long the way I do.
You held me, once, and still
I’m unsure if you remember:
how you never said, now I’m unable to sleep,
but you continued, still,
like a lighthouse crying
for shore. I wanted first a mother.
My body to hold itself unveiled
to experiences. To the darkness
I raised a small sacrifice:
a mug of tea grown cold
as the dustings of a cloud.
At this point, there’s so much more
you could tell me
that I don’t already know.
I don’t know the fields spangled
by moon in the distance.
The many songs you sang
during your birth. Tonight, though,
it’s music, so much more
than the damage of language.
I do mean I wish I were a musician,
on stage and laughing about it.
See I can’t help the way I stumble
across pastures like a large cow
and have nightmares best in solitude.
In that dream I dreamt of conclusions—
the conclusion of my body
standing next to yours
in the shower, or driving
past mountain ranges
in a red Jeep. How each town
to which we travelled
was stranger than the last,
with strange names like the sounds
of bird calls in the morning.
I fear now saying goodbye
to the blankness of dawn. The blankness
of a summer day, by the river,
when I was by the river,
with you. Or in the wispiness of the forest,
and in the wind of the bay,
and cutting my teeth into the ice
to cancel out the bleeding you caused.
You were a name. I adored you
amidst far too many reddish leaves.
Loisa Fenichell’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has been featured or is forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, “all these urban fields,” was published by nothing to say press and her manuscript, “Wandering in all directions of this earth,” is a Tupelo Press Berkshire Prize 2021 and 2022 finalist. She is the winner of the 2021 Bat City Review Editors' Prize, has been a finalist for Narrative Magazine’s 2021 30 Below contest, a runner-up for Tupelo Quarterly's Tupelo Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the Dorianne Laux / Joe Millar prize. She has been the recipient of an award from Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University, where she holds the Writers’ Scholarship.