Thursday Jun 27

RosemurgyCatie Catie Rosemurgy is the author of two poetry collections, both published by Graywolf Press. Her most recent work is First the Burning, a limited edition chapbook handmade by Bloof Books. She teaches at the College of New Jersey and lives in Philadelphia. She's the recipient of fellowships from the Pew Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation.
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If There Is One Girl, There Must Be Two
 
Snow stepping in snow and heading toward you.
 
Then spring
and a stone by the side of the road,
little oubliette in the grass.

It must be January again. Ten hours after my fire has gone out,
the nearest neighbor shows up

with a box of embers. It must be summer. As I walk along,
it’s the shore that’s compulsive, making and wrecking
the same fine lace collar.
 
I was in the woods like a tree is in the woods,
but I pulled my skin back on.
 
Now I can read every word on every page.
I feel around for her
between the happenings they describe.
 
She’s not gone far, only to sleep.
She left her dark hair here
 
curled beside me.  
The day waits up ahead, hungry for what we’re doing,
the pines sticking out like time’s ribcage.
 
Before she sleeps, she opens my chest
and builds a small, feather-lined space into which the stories can crawl.

 
If There Is One Girl, There Must Be Two
 
I look down into the cloudwhip
where yesterday is still pastel at the edges.
They must be carrying us on a clock now.
We must be numbers.
 
I start eyeing up the space between the numbers,
always trying to stick infinity
on top of a little golden ring for her.
 
Such carnage and her button nose. 
Girls, girls, girls.
You can say it like a barker or you can say it
like a mother on a stoop
 
calling two delinquents home. 
I wake her up again.
The worst thing I've done

is use my love for you as an excuse, I say. 
Go back to sleep, she says. It's all you've ever done

 
It’s Summer Again, July 12 to Be Exact
 
And I have two figures.
 
I’m trying to create the impression that there can be two women
and they can both be safe.
 
What happens next?
They begin walking.
 
I love them both, but neither looks back.
Then the road gets too tiny.
 
I have to become a skipping rock with a perfect stripe,
one I know they will pick up.
 
I glide over the froth they create by living.
They take a sharp left and head between trees.
 
Later, one comes hurrying back and heads straight into the water.
I spend a year drying her off.
 
She talks about a plain girl who haunts her dreams.
I point at the shard of mirror I had lodged in my face for them and mumble, good, good,
 
you don't even know which one you are.