The way gray grows
over an unremembered loaf
reminds me I will never be
The buzz of clippers
clearing my head—
I am a scythed figure
in a cloud of bees—
Until I see my dad
You Ask Me, Where Did I Come From?
And I say, I was born
in a trunk. In a punched tin steamer trunk
stowed in the hold of an ocean-going
womb. And I say, my trunk wore
a coat of cream paint overlaid with decals
from every port I’ll ever call home.
And my trunk had a leather hasp
and a padlock of chrome.
And I don’t say, but you know
that my trunk’s my snail shell now, although
sharp-cornered. And my trunk’s a sprung
trap for photographs and handkerchiefs
folded in tissue and naphthalene.
And my trunk’s always filled
with items not wanted on voyage.
And some day you won’t be with me
when my trunk is upended
on a quay in another country. You ask me, how
did I arrive? And I say, (and when I
leave, likewise) as cargo.
the act of tearing apart. The art of preparing
a beast for the oven. A breast severed /
adipose tissue detached from bone. Or a pose
hacked from marble /
age-cracked fragments packed in sand. Brittle
shards dug up by a junkyard dog /
permanent exclusion from the company of
wolves. A loose thread/
unspooled into exile. A sweet wound
unhealed. Unpacked and alone /
Jude Marr is originally from Scotland, where she was born more years ago than she can remember. She is currently a teaching fellow and non-traditional student at Georgia College in Milledgeville, where she is in her third year of a poetry MFA. It’s a long story. Jude’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Cortland Review, r.kv.ry., and Words Dance, among others. When not writing or teaching, she reads for Arts & Letters, and she is also an assistant editor at Ghost Ocean. As graduation approaches, her ambition is to find a job. Just saying. Her website is http://judemarr.tumblr.com/.