Now I am expected to sing
how am I to feign singing
This story is Greek
I should be bouncing my voice
I should be between
two or three rooms, my oaken oars
half-filled with sand
I should be stiffening
with a terrible closeness
What I remember in place of
The unpictureable
I lean in to it
What is occluded here
I know grinds its lens,
holds tools in his mouth
in yet another way
to ring out this icon logic
eidolon, a hinge
crease in the hips
Yet another way to howl
in a gold shawl
To copy myself
a copy, blanketed
and justified
to pick up the telephone
with a stellar female anger,
who I am against you
against me


What to calibrate now, am I
conflicted, this backhanded pain
in my chest, someone’s dark belief
of a body. I mean to speak of primacy,
to mark by incision but am at a loss,
a flag shaking toward the cold
and the good. Riots end
and don’t end. Any loss knows
this: though small against it
the winds still come. The speaking
subject is continual disappointment.
I’ve defined it. This museum
his artifice, war thrashing at its lens.
All I wanted was to make contact,
to be of an accepting body, and still
I tell only stories of an echo. Is it better
to have misgivings than to imagine
a woman without face or hands,
or is this even a new cry


The way the body curls
I want to follow it, these politics,

heart-bodied and soldiered
until a violent outburst occurs

like calving glaciers
I know that it isn’t my job

to keep this concavity
from brimming,

that there are enough
documents in this list

to keep the continually occluded
occluded, continually

No adult tells me how
to get back to it, where we put it,

why we call this spindle
of wanted white loss story

How do I carry this fullness
when what burns is its absence

Gale Marie Thompson the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press, 2015) and two chapbooks. Recent work may be found in Gulf Coast, Guernica, jubilat, Cosmonauts Avenue, Colorado Review, and Foundry, among others. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she teaches at Grand Valley State University.