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gale marie thompson



there was always another and another and another”
(H.D., Helen in Egypt)




Touch in me a stammer, Helen

Let me press you into wax,
find you again and again

I need to account for what patterns I find
to expose my daughter animal
and her movements, her Mother material,
the coming squalor

I need to bring you in,
to speak to you to bring you in
but something before me
has stained the floorboards

Rooms of women
waiting to be inhabited

I lean into the very first poem,
move from pearl to shell burst
to gash of chorus

In using the world, we alter the world
Don’t you agree, Helen

It doesn’t work that way

I swallow here to swallow there
This line will change




I have nothing to give and it tastes sour

Like how the history of me flowers in on the object

but more remote. Helen, you are right to worry,

I want to say. Sometimes in this story

I cannot read the traces, or half-turn my head

but for some dim mirror

I dress in the dark and no one knows





Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press), and two chapbooks: If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear (H_NGM_N) and Expeditions to the Polar Seas (Sixth Finch). Her work appears or is forthcoming in  Gulf Coast, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Volt, Sixth Finch, Bone Bouquet, The Volta, and the Colorado Review. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine, and lives, teaches, and writes in Athens, GA. You can find her online at galemariethompson.com