local_library Where We End And Begin

by Bridget Cross

Published in Issue No. 5 ~ October, 1996

(a sloppy love poem for Quentin)

In an almost blindness,
we can see the tips of our noses
and the blurry windows behind them
and the bandages around
everybody’s broken heart,
but we can’t see above
a seven-eleven or around
a carafe to where the real problem lies.

In spring turning summer,
you fit my hand perfectly
over the everglades of your nose,
to cheek,
to jawbone,
protruding, well kept
over these hard years of blindfolding,
you whispered senseless
and never heard before
things –

I can’t want to know where I end and you begin –

And so I began.
The F train never felt so good,
teased and torn our clothes
froze in the summer heat,
corduroyed knees knocking,
hand on my elbow.
Delicately balanced,
torso upon torso, working
hard to seduce your eyes
that I started to feed like my sick heart,
frothing mind,
all fragile and fallen to my hands. Now look
at this clay
I have molded for you.

I fell
in late spring into somewhere
no one knew about.
I awoke and I was sky.
I was a dirty nightmare,
one when your mother can’t remember
if you’re the older or younger daughter,
and after all the miscarriages
you can’t either.
I was asleep
for twenty or more hours in a twenty-four hour day,
six or more months in a twelve-month year.
Found half-dead in a vault
of my own doing,
stored away and eroding, I am
there now, stuffed
in the second drawer to the left
box marked “X”,
for example.

Nothing can be done about
the animal instincts
that push little girls off the bed
and into the wrong arms,
“roll over”.

account_box More About

Bridget Cross is a student at Reed College in Oregon. In her own words: "I originally come from the heavenly land of New York City, the greatest city on earth, home of the greatest basketball team on earth, love loud music, quiet corners, dancing, driving, people, home, greasy food, diet coke, basket ball, cigarettes, five AM, markers, Ireland, windows, Adidas, oil lamps, notebooks, good smiles, long hugs, rain, sounding like a personals ad and most importantly, procrastinating!"