It was for a birthday-
around a table, flutes of wine
and smoke. Laid out-
dishes of shifting water
for the ash, tapped into and eroding.
Hours worth of talk,
blowing on desert
it is the way we know
that a year is truly over,
our way of recognizing.
Someone says the word born.
We talk about blur, tangled hair
in the kitchen broom, about orange paint
streaked with a rag
about luck, about brevity
our tremors of love.
According to what I know,
the sun will rise just before 7
and I hope, it will be like a hand
pulling me low, to where I need.
Even this late
We are waiting,
for the night to break
like we are waiting
for the last guest to arrive
the one, who isn’t coming.
Wherever You Are, Straight Into You, I Go
I think I know so much, realistically it is just a lot that I know, only that.
I was once told that I wise man says nothing.
I am foolish & wrong & I like it.
The sun is rested and quiet.
The heat does what it wants with me.
I hear a voice outside my window.
A door closes then, to a room I’ve been in, maybe for the last time.
On Humboldt street, the trees become touched with activity,
and it crowds me with feeling.
The badness of the day is in its banality.
The sky is soft enough to put your hands through.
Somewhere in there I am joined by the idea
that everything could be mine, as long I belonged to it.
I imagine a church tower that is sinking
unbroken, into the beach it was built
where staring out from the stone window
is a man I have not loved,
or a man who loved me, once
before he knew better.
And it would seem just as likely
that all my ex boyfriends
are in sinking towers like that
with a bowl in the corner for rainwater
another for books.
But don’t worry, I yell from below
I’ll help you climb out
give you a glass of clean water
and each one will say, no, no thank you.
It will take 50 more good years
for the towers to be completely buried
for them all to have died
and I’ll think, what a shame that is
and probably not care that much
because, 50 years is a long time you know,
and I couldn’t have loved all of them anyway.
Olivia Mardwig is a poet and writer from NYC who is currently working on a filmed series of sketches about women.