Martina Reisz Newberry: “Sadie Tells the Story of Her Lost Love to Her Lost Love”

Martina Reisz Newberry is the author of Never Completely Awake (Deerbrook Editions), Take the Long Way Home (due out in late 2017 from Unsolicited Press), Where It Goes (Deerbrook Editions), Learning by Rote (Deerbrook Editions), Running Like a Woman With Her Hair on Fire (Red Hen Press), Lima Beans and City Chicken: Memories of the Open Hearth (E.P. Dutton &Co)

[alert type=alert-white ]Please consider making a tax-deductible donation now so we can keep publishing strong creative voices.[/alert]



In the morning after the storm, I walked
to the place where the swans stoically
protected the lake’s dark water.

The masks they wore hid their
true selves. I could not see their
wickedness but I knew it was there.

Royal White Mutes, Coscorabas,
Trumpeters and Bewicks—each of these
inclined to bite, to bloody an arm or ankle

with a hurtful kiss. I sat on a bench,
facing them and remembering…
trying to remember what beauty felt like,

what it was to be so lovely that
the eye’s sclera was graced with its intensity—
an almost violence, that sort of beauty;

a beauty that can be forgiven nearly
anything. Oh, I could not make
that memory fit myself though I tried.

Our maculate love was long past as was
the bud and blossom of my attraction.
We floated, dipped, flew only a little.

When we left the water, I saw you
working the grass, mouth slightly open
and ready to snap, body readying…

A shakedown, a preening, a low sound
as you intertwined your fingers with mine.
conjuring an exorcism of what you felt for me.

What are you looking for?