Poetry by Nel Rupp

BEFORE·GONE​
What more could you ask from me.​ I carried your kid like a goat until straight god bested me.​ I didn’t see you, cardplayer, coming. How, then, I could have spared me.​ We all know some ships need a good, dead woman to start sailing.​ I’ve always seen how fathers brothers are blinding.​ I see magic as real as the dog does see.​ No smoke screens. Ils sont pas des ouvriers mais les oeillères de leurs filles.​ But I’m not my normie sister, Isemene, who has not even pierced earrings.​ I dead will bury the dead bodies.​ How bad a Marxist am me.​ You don’t know, you can’t read beneath your wings. I should have run forward, into something: You would think, if you were thinking.​ All this lingering and Lethergy.​ Just to tell, for telling: I have centuries loved you for secretly running, nights sleeping in Walmart, pet aisle hiding. Youthfully, so Diogenes.​ The wise mountain of dry food is now cracking. It misses you, as you will miss me. The antlered thingling I ride has two gold coin obol eyes through which to see.​ I have sat at the bottom of two empty pools I slid in sideways, scraping my feet. I smeared feces over your graffitti. Just kidding. But all that blood red paint everywhere… that was me. I chipped my dog teeths. The thirty tonne swords cleaved in stitches to my body, infected and jingling. It hurts, hurt me: Stepping, speaking, swallowing. Thinking, furrowing, fucking. Too tired, now, to ever be queen. You want to FaceTime goodbye to me. Ring and ring-ring. But I hear the train through the storm so you have already called to me. Sparagmos, all hands on deck of my belly.​ The hottest feeling shot out of me. I felt your soldiers unsoldering me. Your kind has broken the smallest bones in my Venn Diagram body already.​ The pressure drops and my ears sing. Burnt sticks, crackling. Cats swatting at embers, night aflaming. A special gust sent from your mother to me. It is my smoke she wants to see. If you told her the truth, baby, you’d be free.​ Bottomless vases of blood and vaseline.​ Now they are yours to clean.​ I am too jealous of every glimmery girl gelding. Take everything. I’ll sprinkle red dust on the us that was us, left out-n-about unholy.​ Crunched up Saltines.​ Even tho you said no, I’ll for sure make sure your sentries see. I will give us our own rites with glee. Stop our crust from baking into sun jelly. I am now preparing the meal of me. How to haunt an everything. You who first named the animals: Stopped when you saw me. Couldn’t parse out the nominating speech: An Antigone. Now I never stagger, even on the piss-drunk beach. It is, afterall, my last speech. So I’ll say: I hate my country.​ Hush the Chorus, now, despot devotee. I’ll go willingly.​ Or else, your eternity: Get mosquitoed around by the Furies.​ Into the cave, if you let me. It isn’t pride I’ve been feeling. Still, I am singing: O, O, O, O. Ø is me! Perfectly not in key. On my back, husked to all my belongings. Nothing I wouldn’t want my dead friends to see. Turn to turn and to turn the rock by rocking it slowly. Forever, I will scream. But now, I give the dark my body.

 

Nel Rupp is a communist and a poet who currently lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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