Video Store Guillotine
After the razor nicks the back of my neck,
I pet the wound for the rest of the week
& I google “horror movie heroine” because I want to be
hot as in un-murderable—
as in big sweater blonde clutching a kitchen knife,
as in television tits & a banshee scream.
& I think I need more denim
so that I can barely survive the early aughts, blue
like Sidney Prescott & Picasso & Lilith’s eyes
upside down on the living room wall.
Storyland was closed when we found ourselves
there—Spanish moss coronating the cardboard cartoon cutouts
like slow spider silk, unearthed coffins nipping
at our ankles, floating in the same water
that flooded our cousins’ houses.
Within the branches of the live oaks at the end of Annunciation,
we could see the necks of Audubon giraffes
& the sand labyrinth of red ant hills below.
Time made us forget, but
our ankles still itch.
We have eaten the stones
of a vulture’s knees, me & the mosquito
who sleeps in the threads of my eyelashes—
we are held
together by the pulp
of lime & cheese & egg whites,
me & my mosquito, mended
as broken glass.
& when I trace the names carved
into the backs of Shea Stadium seats,
I think about Alan Ladd & Ronald Colman & old Hollywood screen cowboys & about the Miracle Mets & about how all that’s left for us is to go to the moon.
The tinny buzz of tiny wings is
the rub of raised blue plastic is
what a language sounds like in a mouth
that does not know it but that loves it.
& the mosquitos are like the Miracle Mets were—
psychosomatic symptoms of a system left
for the birds.
Abigail Swoboda is a poet and kindergarten teacher who lives in Philadelphia. Visit their website abigailswoboda.com or find them on Twitter @orbigail.