Dawn Lundy Martin

V [

Violent Rooms


The contours of the girl blur. She is both becoming and fact.
A rancor defines the split. Rip into. Flatten the depth of voice. That

urgent flex peels off the steady layers. A girl, I say.
Girl. Gu-erl. Quell. He. He — unbuttons before emergence.

As in yard rake pressed to roof of mouth. A fragrant rod.
Suh — sssuh — ssuck. Insistence. Lips go lisp. Our brutish boy.

Having not ever been whole. Or simple. Or young. Just split and open.
Not of it. For it. Born a cog of hard wheel at five, six, seven...

[Dear one, the sea... ]

Dear one, the sea smells of nostalgia. We’ re beached and bloated, lie
on shell sand, oil rigs nowhere seen. It’ s Long Island, and the weather
is fine. What to disturb in the heart of a man?

A boy is not a body. A boy is a walk.

Shed the machine.
Must be entirely flesh to fight.
Must be strategy instead of filling.