Ruth Madievsky's first poetry collection, "Emergency Brake," was named Tavern Books' 2015-2016 Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series selection and is forthcoming in January 2016. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She was a 2015 Tin House Scholar in Poetry. She is originally from Moldova and lives in Los Angeles, where she is a doctoral student at USC's School of Pharmacy. You can find her at ruthmadievsky.com.
Everyone I Love is Drafting Their Own Eulogies
One SpringI kept breastfeeding my existential anxiety One spring I had an empty stomach for a face I had a boyfriend One spring I kept telling the same story I kept telling the same story so I wouldn't have to tell the same story again One spring I was the smoky remnants of a campfire One spring I watched a dragonfly circle my pool for two hours and felt happy I felt happy and like a blueberry in the mouth of someone who loved me I felt like the squeak a stair makes under a bare foot One spring I heard the pills inside me go quiet I heard the washing machine trying to beat the blood out of my dress One spring I thought a lot about photosynthesis I thought a lot about stem cells and whether they were conspiring against me I thought about war and how armor outlives the people it's there to protect One spring I wondered if anything is really here to do anything One spring I felt one with the doorstops at Home Depot I found myself inside a salt shaker, inside the smell of super glue I found a photo of the girl I never was and always will be I pulled the apple from her mouth
Everyone I Love is Drafting Their Own Eulogiesin parking lots, in bedrooms, in supermarkets between the ground beef and the egg noodles. Let's try that again: so much comes down to a body handcuffing itself to its ghost. I want to tell you about the time the past was an earring under the bed. How I lived in the space between touching and not touching, how I wanted everyone I love to wear me like a hat. Now I'm the darkness a city bus moves through, but not always, not when I pass someone walking more than three dogs, not when everyone I love is working full-time as my lungs. In Los Angeles, someone's replaced all the oxygen with surgical grade stainless steel, someone's tagged all the freeway overpasses and I can't tell if they wrote HELEN or HELP. Everyone I love is trying to shine me like a flashlight, everyone I love is telling me to say ahh. In my backyard, forty ants are sharing a slice of watermelon, and I don't know why that makes me feel lonely, why I wish I was their size and with them, fighting for the juiciest piece with everyone I love or just letting them have it.