S. Brook Corfman
I was having outsized reactions
that I felt were appropriate
but not telling anyone about them.
I tried on three different
shirts before I gave up
trying to match that feeling.
If I were some other kind
of artist, I would be an abstract painter.
I like how the shape
can hold a feeling, the way a vase
holds water, or glass, heat.
When the line continued
into the auditorium, I looked
a landscape into existence.
There is little t and big T
trauma and the little t
is more relational.
That is, it’s about an overpowering feeling.
How movement is circumscribed
by a projection of another’s attitude.
Does milkweed float?
When I began this poem, it included
a stanza about tears
I’ve since removed. There is an outer circle
and an inner one, and then
there is just me.
Working with middle schoolers,
I wanted to spend the rest
of the day with them,
to ensure no one used what I gave them
to cause them harm.
I woke up twice today. I had some sense.
I was sharing room. Then summer, surrounded. Then less space.
I don’t normally sleep quietly, I realized, I didn’t need to do it. Then I did.
Over time, rebuilding looked different: naps instead of a trip to the pool.
Even lost lip service, even decorum.
Someone waking up worry. What kind of safety happens in a spinning orb.
I have also been unsafe, and here the three of us are on the couch.
Who will be the first attack.
There is a big window in the front room, a high window to its right. One won’t open, the other won’t lock.
There is a door in my room to the wilderness, barely fenced.
They’ll walk swiftly past one human body towards the other.