“Todestrieb” by Amy Newell

Amy Newell


Congratulations, you are a cigarette. I will smoke you
and stub you out in the palm of my hand. Tar
and feather me, I deserve it. Invite me over,
I will swallow you whole and beat my head against
your feet, bury myself in dirty snow outside your door.
Why have you entered me, black cloud? Your edges
are scraping mine. I want to drown myself in your
bottle of scotch, the peat and burn of it. I don’t even
want you, but I want you, want you wanting me,
want the death that is in you crying out to the death
that is in me, all those little deaths, destroyers of
worlds. Why did you come into my life, to murder
me, to throw me up against the wall, to tell me
dirty secrets, to rake me over, turn me inside out?
You are not you, you are me, wanting to be anywhere
but here, where you are chasing me through empty
rooms. I want to burn myself up, throw myself out.
I’m drawing pictures of you on myself with knives,
I am ripping you out of magazines, I am circling
your phone number over and over, till I’ve torn
the paper up with my pen. I am running toward you,
climbing into you, crashing against you. You are
the rushing noise in my ears, you are the ticking
bomb in my bag. I will drive off a cliff with you.
You have taken up residence, you have turned
me out into the street, you are keeping me awake
at night with all your whispering, with your eyes.
I am punching my fist through your window,
I am eating up the shards of glass.

from Rattle #50, Winter 2015


Amy Newell: “I always thought I’d grow up to be ‘a writer’ and instead I ended up as a software engineer. Then a few years ago a fellow engineer and I came up with a game to pass the time in boring meetings. One of us would provide five words and we’d both have to write a poem including them by the end of the meeting. That game is long over, and these days I’m often running the meetings, but the writing goes on.” (web)

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