and everywhere is war…
what can i save against the drowning of a nation
i got nailed in, from the first crown of my fawn-soft hair
against my mother’s other mouth,
doctor’s tools slicing her open
as my cloud-covered body slipped quietly out,
into hands swollen many times from violence,
what can i defend in being here?
why must i sleep timidly along outside of bed
with baby tucked beside me along the wall,
my resting pose faced out towards
monsters, rapists, murderers, mermaids, all
phantoms of collective disquiet, our dreams
swell thick with violence, murmurs horrid, familiar,
how did i come to find what it is to sit in fear?
what can i save against upheaval of the end,
when i am sure the war is in my own system—
between synapse and sinew, under pulse of poisoned
fluids, the deep draws of death, war is under
everything i stand for, in my smallest girlchild,
mimicking her patterns of abuse, cheeks swollen with violence.
who am i to be quiet when i have been that near to war?
About the Author
Fern Capella is a singer, songwriter, and poet living in Portland, Oregon. Among her publishing credits are Hipmama Magazine, The Essential Hipmama, Fictions of Mass Destruction, and many others. Fern is a graduate of New College of California’s Experimental Performance Institute.