Marya Hornbacher



I have not decided yet whether to give you my feet or my hands, or my tongue. You have already taken the words, pulled them from my mouth like a string of pearls. I am left with no language, only an intricate set of gestures. I will be in charge of gestures. You can steer the boat. No, I will steer the boat, and you can sing. I will wear a captain's hat and sob. This is not the part that is a love poem yet. I will get to that. Once I read a book about infinity. I didn't understand it, but accepted the premise: that things tend toward chaos, centripetal motion, spinning outward from the source. This was when I was entropic, made of electrical storms. In advance, I should tell you that soon I will break into your chest and rewire your heart, and it will probably blow. I've never been good at the heart part. This is the love poem part. I will give you my feet, my hands. Cut out my tongue and swallow it, rough as a cat's. All I have left are the gestures, and the dull bloody stump in my mouth. Kiss me. Come with me. I need you to sing.






" The Love Poem Part" was originally more of a poem-like poem, with line breaks and that sort of thing. The more I messed with it, the messier the lines got, getting long and unwieldy, eventually wrapping all the way around. The process sparked an essay on the differences between poetry and prose—[link]—because suddenly I wasn't positive why I'd ever bothered with line breaks in the first place. I mean, line breaks are fine, and I like them very much in some poems, but I couldn't quite justify them in my own. So I revised all my poems. "The Love Poem Part" is one of the results.