[Table of Contents]


Arielle Greenberg


(I was a plain girl and thankless
(when a man came he was a medicine
(when he was medicine I loved him
(when I loved him he said I will be your lover
(when he said so it was so
(when my lover came for me I went
(when I went to my lover it was so dark there
(where it was dark I was a woman
(where I was a woman I could barely breathe
(when my lover came that night I married him
(when I married I was made a wife
(when I was a wife I could barely breathe
(somewhere in my body a door slammed
(slammed out the air
(slammed out the breath

(it is very close inside this body of locked doors


. . .


Maybe two people went walking and maybe it was quiet. Maybe there were birds quitting morning work. Maybe there was a pond. Certainly there was a pond. Maybe there were ducks, frogs, lilies. Certainly there was a trail leading out of the woods and into an archetype. Certainly there was a villain. Maybe it was cold. Certainly it was Halloween and certainly that means something about the dead who have come before. Maybe it was a good day for dying. Certainly someone was to die. Certainly around the world many people died. Anyway. Maybe the doctor and his wife were taking a longer walk, because there was a plan. Maybe the doctor and his wife were taking a shorter walk, because it was cold and her back ached. Certainly the doctor and his wife took a walk. Maybe the wife walking a path already had that trouble in mind trouble in mind. Maybe the wrongness was already creeping in the minute they left their car with the dog to walk the path they so often walked it was known to them both. Maybe before a person dies they know it in their head like a strange cough or a song. Anyway. Certainly the doctor and his wife took a walk. Maybe the wife said no, no, you walk on with the dog to the doctor when her back ached and he left her side. Maybe at a certain point the doctor left his wife's side. Maybe they agreed to meet in a bit by the road. Maybe he made an excuse to her. Maybe he slipped back around another trail. Maybe he never left her side. Maybe he left her side and did not see her again until she lay still upon the ground. Certainly she lay still upon the ground.



These are excerpted from the chapbook, Fa(r)ther Down: Songs from the Allergy Trials, recently published by New Michigan Press, and available [here].