ONE POEM – Loisa Fenichell

‘Heart of the Forest’, Emily Carr, 1935

Loisa Fenichell is a Brooklyn-based middle school special education teacher. She recently received her BFA from the aptly named Purchase College, located in Purchase, NY, where she studied Creative Writing and Literature. Her poems have appeared in various publications, including Pink Monkey Magazine, Gandy Dancer, The Rising Phoenix Review, Electric Cereal, and Winter Tangerine Magazine.


It’s just & my mouth smells like vomit when they touch me

I have never lived
in a forest – the regret bones
shake & rattle like piano keys
above my head, at night,
where I sleep, & the glow-in-the-dark
pig keychain
in the corner of my room
cobbles together words
for me like it is Eliot.

Boys named Eliot come &
go, come & go: John, & Paul, & boys
whose names begin with “A,” like Adam,
& “M,” like ‘magine that I am
the sort who drowns simply because
it is holy & in fashion.

All of my poems mean the same
to these boys, as in they do not read
my poems. So I stand in Dumbo
on the banks of the Hudson River
& wait for it to ebb through my mouth,
& then I wait for their deaths to perch
on my windowsill, with the piano keys,
& with my glow-in-the-dark pig keychain.

These boys’ names were long spines
down my backside. They had no
blankets, & carrying a log to the fire
I warmed them straight to their
bone marrow. I was too old for this.

I am 23. I have lived
in 1 state, 2 countries, have yet
to find somebody who speaks
to me as though tragedy
will never be our undoing.

Also I have never celebrated Christmas
in 25 years. (I am late at being late).

My mother, when I was young,
fed me bread, & milk, & this was the start
of my unraveling, on the C train, where
the dead have huddled in wait to be slain,
because they know little else.

That the earth is luminous
& strange! My mere undoing
could be the fall of Rome
& other strange
& gloried empires. To be a self
by the Hudson River
is to be where the boys have gone
to be cradled by bustles of water.

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