Loner Magazine - Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New


Living   in the earth-deposits   of our history

Today a backhoe divulged   out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle   amber   perfect   a hundred-year-old
cure for fever   or melancholy   a tonic
for living on this earth   in the winters of this climate

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered   from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years   by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin   of her finger-ends
til she could no longer hold   a test-tube or a pencil

She died   a famous woman   denying
her wounds
her wounds   came   from the same source as her power

-Adrienne Rich, 1929-2012



My rebellious sheets have
Relinquished their post around my plump haunches
And scarred façade
I wrestle them back into submission with a
A burst of giddy, girlish laughter
“Secrets, sheets…” I say aloud
“We all have them and you must give me mine
(Women, more than most)
Allow me these simple comforts
However long I can evade the noose.”

-Kate Sherbo, 2014