Two Poems | Sara Moore Wagner
Because I Think with You, Maybe I Can
I learned at fifteen that you can’t walk around
all day shoeless and wild haired, can’t look in
a crack in the mountain and see the scorpions
swirling like a tongue. It isn’t your place to ask
God where he lives, whether in you or in those
hills, my mama said as she looped her crochet
hook through the eyes, securing those tiny threads
over each button of the corset on that dress
she bought me to walk down the aisle to you.
And I do, dress all white and taffeta, festooned
with gold beaded flowers. I am my own landscape.
I am walking down the aisle to you, my mother
with her hand firm on my elbow and she is saying
walk, girl—this is what you’ve been built for.
Never mind the pain at the heal, the blister
forming and bursting, how there’s a pool
of blood on that baby pink paper aisle my mother
laid herself. How the sun beats down like
a flyswatter. How the hills are humming,
the lake is humming. It’s our song, it’s our bridal
suite, and I’m here before you. Ready. You’re standing
so still in the suit your father bought you, with your
hair so neat, but I see it in your eyes, the whole
sky. The whole entire sky.
In the morning, hear me
clack against your deck door,
greenly jeweled, wide eyed,
I want you to dance with me,
body me, mate me, house me,
let me in. I’m cryptic,
your arms, show me
your decorated chest, queen
anne’s lacy pores, patches
of teasel—marshy, invite
me to stay with you here,
on top of you, flickering
these thin flames, these wings,
vestigial structures. I’m not using
my body for anything
but this. With this wide,
wet mouth, I’ll predator,
I’ll catch you, show you
the blue tip of my smile:
I’ll get you, roost
in the thick of you,
feed you a ripe cherry
from the bottom
of my throat, a nuptial
gift, and you’re mine.
Sara Moore Wagner lives in West Chester, OH with her husband and three small children. She is the recipient of a 2019 Sustainable Arts Foundation award, and the author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals including Waxwing, The Cincinnati Review, Tar River Poetry, Harpur Palate, Western Humanities Review, and Nimrod, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and Best of the Net.
Facebook: Sara Moore Wagner
Personal Website: www.saramoorewagner.com
Read more about these poems in our Featured Poet interview with Sara here!