Today's poem is by Alexandra Teague

Matryoshka (as Madness)

If you could start
at the center: nest
a solid self inside
a safer self
like a house
so no one sees
all the ways you've
twisted open, copied
yourself. How you
don't knock down
the nesting wasps
from your back porch
eves, the yard guarded
by copies of medieval
devils: their buzz
beautiful and maybe
deadly if a child knocks.
You are supposed to
make your home safe,
supposed to know dishes
from devil, but you still
throw plates for
their beautiful shatter
when it's all too solid
or isn't. Houses burn
quick as the air
between bodies.
It scares you to know this.
To know so little
of how to throw your self
into adulthood
like a voice.
The one solid wood
doll is the smallest:
trapped inside wood
inside air inside wood
like a prayer in a crucifix
you don't know how to
believe in. The church
only solid as
the ripped-roofed blue
the congregation
stares into in Siquieros,
their prayers like a windbreak:
pale trees in the sure belief
of storm. Above,
the devil hovers:
arms like a combine,
thrashing, threshing
their stares. It's best not
to look up when the sky
opens, sure of
nothing but opening.
Maybe all bodies
are storms, hurricanes
twisting up from
water, thrashing inside
them whatever else
you are. Your nephew
breaks down, breaks
open his house, is
wrestled into handcuffs,
locked up for safety.
A doll inside the body
of a glass-eyed doll.
Who would you ask for
if you called? Glass
shattered on your
floor, as if you're
trying to lock yourself
inside his mind.
Just south of him,
in Mexico, rising crime
means rising calls
for exorcisms. To unlock
the soul from the devil
like a knot pulled
from wood. The priests
say people summon evil
by praying to skulls.
Everyone praying
to their own hollows.

Copyright © 2016 Alexandra Teague All rights reserved
from Copper Nickel
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily!

Home   Web Weekly Features  Archives   About Verse Daily   FAQs   Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2016 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved