I have given it 110% every day. I flout the reckless.
Each time I undo the bare, I bury the slights. It is a kind of slaughter.
I cannot see what other women do or don’t do.
In true time, empty still equals empty, but I consent.
I hear the bell ringing. I am aware of the crests and the falls:
those are the day rustlers and I am unafraid.
I want an index to polka through. I could choose: B or G or L
and see where the throes swell. I believe I can throw it.
One day, there will be a rushing, and one day, I will lurch forward,
sing through the cabin of me,
and pin down the madness of this world one tack at a time.
And, this sloping bite, this blood-drawn tease, this wide-combed life,
I will let it all run loose. I will excite dreams with color.
I will be trusting, even-shuffled and thirsty.
Don’t let me lose my way.
There is a thrumming I can still hear.
Leah Umansky is the author of four books of poems, most recently The Barbarous Century, (Eyewear Publishing, 2018). She lives and teaches in New York City. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as Poetry Magazine, Magma, Barrow Street, Salamander, and Pleiades. Some of her Game of Thrones inspired poems have been translated into Norwegian and Bengali.
This poem appears in her forthcoming collection, The Barbarous Century.