[Table of Contents]



Susannah Lodge-Rigal



Again is one condition of a life
   I string pretty words

Check the burners the oven
   the lock lock the lock   Turn over

three memories asking how many
   ways I was harmful    I'm not afraid of fire

so much as I'm afraid
   to be the one who starts

When I say sky I mean a mystery other than
   those burning out from in    I spell a cowbird:          

that which is bodied for the up & through
   It makes me nervous—how featherless

the dead seem    In the unimagined place
   I'm an easy story

All the ruthless & the boring
  wing my throat    Again sky

like a question: how many ways
   have I mistaken you?

Like a mirror:
   the mistaken you



RATTLING IN          

Are you rending the blue again
Have you found there slim counsels of sky

Does your tongue title & forget like mine
Are you clinging vowels into meaning

or away Are you harmful
as a wrench & as helpful Are you made

of ifs like me Are you making god
from neon blur brightscratch bad

patterning Are you woozy
from it Will you keep

the question rattling in If glass
do you through or mirror In dreams

are you you or the disappearer Are you
rending the blue again

Are you meaning or away
Are you circling as a sick animal

circles     woozy from it






Both poems are part of a larger project writing through obsessive compulsive disorder and exposure therapy. These particular poems explore how lyric tropes (specifically an I & You) might serve as mechanism for bodying, naming, and reimagining obsessive fear.