ALICIA SALVADEO

INHERITANCE

 

By definition a being invalid.  I mean the newer

of the two. Like lunar light. Like a daughter

lit up: unworkable

 

promise. Or loosely: the premise of fish teeth

too familiar for comfort, washed ashore

to chatter chorus logic

 

in which the daughter stands dumb, a cup

in hand. Emptying of empty.

 

The homonymity of I elicits what kind

of listening—

 

taking one self

hostage or the other. How do you spell it: do-si-do

like mistaking moon and mother. As if

there’s such a thing as strict definition,

 

reasons the heiress of faces. Literally “air.”

Tucking into, out of.  She calculates

the exertion inherent in phasing, picks at

discrepancies between each apparent

shape thrown off her body. A ritual

 

scabbing toward subcutaneous

scale. Fin to fingernail.

I feel nothing, new, nothing—just thirsty

 

 

Somewhere Else

 

stop struggling

to grow

long hair

 

regal fabric rolled out

in welcome       mulberry:

this is the way we

wash hands    brush teeth

 

gauge the distance

between two centers

 

all the urges in one person

 

somewhere else

a robot fairly gentle

touches        down on a comet

 

juice a product

produced

where harpoon breaks rock

 

broke up ringlets      & nudged the waves

 

a small spring

 

flatter those victories    shifting

 

blue to red

 

steps that glided

Tilda on the carpet      somewhere else

spectral glimmers

 

(the way they walk)

 

brush the knots

out with a violence

 

so early in the morning

so early in the morning

 

attempt to move

toward the sun & cartwheel

off the surface

 

with little say

in negotiating your own visibility

where are you going?

 

 

 

Go Forth and Multiply

i.

When the body loses

track of itself it

grows. You don’t even

need to have sex

to see yourself iterated

in some form. Try mirrors.

Try twisting ancient maxims.

Try visions. The octopod’s

limbs are infinite and

unfamiliar. How they move

toward you, quick and

slick with mobility, how

they are hungry.

How they list

and then disarm

each disquiet with

translucent grip. Many more

than eight. These arms

of mine could only carry

this many

 

ii.

to start. When the body

loses track I become

all the women

close to me: all our

arms and legs, all our heads

and oiled hair matted together.

A bumbleball supreme.

Not minding not being

out in the world

minding not being me

for a day: to say

here I am is missing

the point. Vertex balloons

to vortex. How solidarity resembles

the stuff of nightmares. We travel

the seas to frighten the lookers-on

who don’t know the secret of

our finitude is what makes us.

The wind without fail

is favorable.

 

 

ALICIA SALVADEO LIVES IN PITTSBURGH, PA AND IS THE AUTHOR OF TWO CHAPBOOKS: MEMORY MILK (2012), PUBLISHED BY DIAMOND WAVE PRESS, AND ERR TO NARROW (2014), WHICH WAS SELECTED BY NICK FLYNN FOR POETRY SOCIETY OF AMERICA’S NATIONAL CHAPBOOK FELLOWSHIP. HER POETRY AND CRITICISM HAS APPEARED IN BODEGA, BOMBAY GIN, DIAGRAM, THE VOLTA, AND SENTENCE, AMONG OTHERS. SHE IS THE CO-FOUNDER OF GRLHOOD, AN ONGOING COMMUNITY WRITING PROJECT IN WHICH GIRLS AND WOMEN EXCHANGE REFLECTIONS ON GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND THE VARIED SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONTEXTS THAT DETERMINE CONTEMPORARY GIRLHOOD.
GestureALICIA SALVADEO