Hannah Craig lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of This History that Just Happened (Parlor Press, 2017). Her work has recently appeared in journals like The Mid-American Review, North American Review, and Copper Nickel. She was the winner of the 2015 New Measure Poetry Prize and the 2016 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize.
I was not who I was. O and you were not.
This is not something you would do.
Those were demons flying through the house
all night, hanging huge-eyed in the walls.
The water, when you held us down in it,
to baptize us, it did not know how to do anything
to resist the body. It made a noose to catch
us up. That is not something you believe in now.
You did not think it would hurt us so much. You did not know.
He told you to marry him and you said you would.
I was lying to you. The spoons were wooden
& danced. The hands were fast and they pinched
when they caught us. Later, in the woods, you said
nothing to me. Family is a rope you draw
around yourself before you fly. I mean. The mow
where we kept the hay was so clean & faraway.
I see it now. We hid and the sun went down.
We hid until he came home and said he would beat us
if we didn't get inside. The angels were after us, too.
They called & rebuked whatever lived inside,
a green-black bug, a shiny tug in the gut.
That's the wrong kind of shirt for a girl to wear.
The buttons are on the wrong side.
That's the wrong kind of stick to gather for firewood.
That's the wrong way to kiss.
That's the wrong kind of math, an old math,
a dodgy, detrimental multiplication. First faith
then family then shoes. I mean first art then money.
I mean drowning is all we know how to do right
and still we won't do it.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.