MADELEINE FENN

 

Europa I

 

Cool celestial body
sublime with ice.
Below her surface
an ocean.

Frigid second wife: bitch.
Jupiter wanted better.

She remembers
her abduction,
holding on tightly to
his horns.

Even now, divorced into
a chain of many moons,
she is tidally in his sway.

She remembers it most at high-tide:
rushed by a crashing white bull.

Funny how pain
manifests in the mind
as a forgetting, and in the flesh
as memory.

Liquid memory, and too much:

Tugging, aching.

Pulling at her body,
putting it through
the motions like a

Good little satellite.

HESIOD

 

Hesiod said,
EVERYTHING IS GETTING WORSE.

And your underwear is sagging,
revealing in the worst sort of way.

Hesiod said,
BECOME A FARMER, OR A GOD.

Groceries do after all cost a firstborn
or a limb, in this economy.

Hesiod said,
BE VERY WARY OF WOMEN.

And you are a woman, and so you begin
to keep a very close eye on yourself.

Hesiod said,
EXPECT TO WORK VERY HARD
WHILE HERE ON EARTH.

Tired, though, you begin to think,
that’s easy for the dead to say.

ORCHARD

 

The year she died,
I learned how to eat.
Inside the wound,
Hot with tears, I
Unpeeled mandarins,
Framed by morning
Glory mingling with
Raspberries in the ditch.
Bull-dark creatures
Watched and lowed,
My mourning stars.
That mound of hours,
Piling up. All the
While I worked with
Heart in my mouth,
Waiting, waiting,
For the hurt to go.

A river ran by.
I stood and watched.

One day I just spat it out:

A glob of heart,
A spray of mandarin seeds.

A dribble of saliva and tears.

The hungry current
Ate grateful.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeleine Fenn has spent a joyful year at the IIML completing her MA in poetry.