the atlas of the almost breast: cocoon of scar
holding tissue from below the ribs, the ass;
the hard line of a mouth cut across it.
sign here. agreement that one’s hand
will rest only here. the lone nipple
will not travel with anyone else’s passion.
knives have taken their fill from within,
constellations of dead daughters and poisonous
stones. cover me with black dresses
and red wine and men. all try, in their way,
to play not-knife. I grind it into all of them, these marks.
the only question a carving has: who said you could look
anywhere else but here?
the ways a nightgown can shift topography;
unaware of hands folded over the uterus
as if pressing close the lid of a lockbox.
a young son does not lie like lovers do.
when I’m undressed for the bath,
robe open to say who would want this
and torn up and half a woman,
he only follows the gestures
of a cigarette, held easy, balanced
between index knuckle and tall finger, divining lips.
he has not the faculty to offer a report on beauty.
instead, he wonders why the clavicle always resists his
cheek when held. waits out the length between each blink
for the eye to reappear. that rugged river valley
cradled against the stomach insists on the fraction
measuring the ratio of not-him. no, he’s auburn
in motion, a tide of light brushed from the hair.
plotted from coordinates along the torso’s smooth half.
the energy of lost skin not gone, after all,
but moved into an orbit of giggling when squeezing my ear lobe,
or to opening its knee on the sidewalk
and running, sob and sob, back
to the curing hands that lamb
through tilled summer earth.
with the warmth of his tears against his mother’s
crossed, sunswept legs, he revels like a good moon.
Nate Fisher is currently in his terminal year of the University of Idaho-Moscow’s MFA program. He has lived in Maine and Illinois, studying and teaching at universities there, though he is most proud of purchasing his Doctorate in Metaphysics online for thirty dollars in 2007. He enjoys good scotch and storms, two things that most likely made the composition of the poem in this issue possible at all. Often he is told he resembles actor Paul Dano; how he feels about this is currently undecided.
Monica Aissa Martinez: “My interest is in human anatomy. I study the body’s physical and subtle aspects. I am drawn to the language of myth and symbol: circle and line, emotion and logic, feminine and masculine (principles), horizontal (heavens and spirit) and vertical (earth and body). I use line, shape, space and color to represent complex connections between the body, mind and spirit.” http://monicaaissamartinez.com