Domestic Violence by Iliana Rocha
Morning dragonflies tricked by the sliding glass
door, scattered on the porch like cigarettes torn in half,
& a horse in watercolor, its joints light blue circles.
Golf carts zoom over the green breasts
of the hills. I slept on my hands,
flat pillows filled with a puzzle of tiny bones. Loneliness’s
gray blanket, last night’s mascara, loneliness—
a dragonfly hovers like spit in slow motion near the glass,
promises to fill the pane with itself like his hand,
my face reflecting back at him. Half
the world is still asleep, my breasts
alive & waking from my shirt. Wind in circles
through grass, horses tip in its direction. Saturated circles,
faces, move the muted TV screen, broadcast more loneliness:
buy this property, try this exercise. A woman with hard breasts
isn’t convincing. When I shift in myself, glass
breaks inside me, a sky losing over half
its stars, desperate dark hands
finding something else to fill it. Like hands,
birds clap their wings in desperation’s applause, circling
as if their species is dying out. My throat, half
gastrolith, half swollen tequila, it’s not loneliness
we flying things try to avoid, but in glass
a painful logic, one you learn like the breast’s.
A rainbow interrupts the white cloud breasts,
like mine, where once his hands
lived, then destroyed. My breath against silence’s smooth glass,
longing for the wisdom of a tree’s hollow, sex circle,
how it endures loneliness
by invitations to other survivors of this world from half
its violence, all its love.
© 2021 Iliana Rocha. Today’s poem was taken from the April 2021 issue of Poetry.
Iliana Rocha earned her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her debut collection of poetry, Karankawa, won the 2014 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. You can read more about Iliana Rocha and her work on her website.
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