Brief meditation on the life of maggie pollitt

this rose quartz chinadoll; this sunken chunk of flesh and sex; this four-poster bed draped in southern wind, the little traces of sunlight blinking through the lilywhite + cream curtains – the peak, the sneak, the garter belt, the rotation of heels and earrings ; the pearls; the diamonds cascading through fingertips still silken at the skin,, still soaked in sin, still flashing tumbler whiskey dry , high time , high noon , Memphis heat boiling over the ice cube coldness – bitter fringe of society; the society we live in; the rolled up pant leg to expose / to expose; the exposition of timelessness; of ankles broken, twisted, mangled words hulked on top of one another like a hawk-cries’ promise \\ It’s just a mechanical thing, this love ; or the magical disappearing act of it \ it’s just a mechanical thing, this heart ; or the wild feet I race back and forth in circles / This blue satin love, a sash around the waist, a dash of haste stealing around your chaste angled brow upwards,, the disdain, the rotating glass chiming clock chimes in the hallway, endless hours of saturated sun ; croquet balls flung mid moon air suspended ; never hitting the target through the delicate wire frame the ball is supposed to chime through ; the delicate wire frame ; the endless succession of words, the postponement of pleasure, of honesty, the bravery of standing on your own two feet, and barking into the moonlight

When the hair was snipped

When the hair was snipped
the panic rose on the back of my neck
like a pair of traps releasing on each foot /
I liked to hide behind this tiny patch - this little
window shade from the world;;
The air on the side of my face
was nothing short of terrifying –
all of the new light the sun could splay on me;
all of the imperfect pores that could feel the atmosphere //
the nakedness felt immense –
And my rapturous heart knew nothing else
but the kind of fear that approaches you from behind
(this had come from the front - with my consent, no less)

I sat with the mounting anxiety as it traced me
home, down the NJ transit line, little train plodding slowly
(too slowly) and me and my little heartbeat thudding endlessly

I sat with the fearful residue sliding over my body --
approached it like a small animal
and began to call it pet names ;
It began to comfort me - the radiant terror
transforming into something resembling release --
The courage of follicles tossed to the
ground like some sort of ancient foliage
gone free -- the bliss of winter branches reaching

I wondered about the radical resistance of our bodies;;
the way that my projection of sliding cells
curls my little name into an image -- how the grace
of giving away your identity
rattles out the little neurons waiting
in the back of my brain to be called on;
Waiting to be forced to stand up /

And here comes the army of new selves
rushing from the last row - here comes the maraca of my brain;
and surrendering
to the agony of fearlessness
you force yourself to allow yourself to grow into
by pulling up the weeds keeping
the soil


I kept your lighter
grabbed it in an instant
tucked into the folds of
my coat and bumbled my way
home ---

when a memory folds itself
like cupped hands under a
tucked chin, I always gape at it;
laugh and wave my hands
like it is a friend that has come
to console me -- but
here there is only the end of the
telephone wire, and a chunk
of ones and zeros
that line up to make your face;
and the dropped conversation
that sits like a pair of
folded hands with
no memory of itself;
folded paper that leaves no crease

I kept your lighter,
maybe to set this paper on fire,
watch it burn in the afternoon light;
tuck the ashes under my pillow;
make a few wishes on them and pull
a few teeth out, hoping a fairy or two
will leave me something
in the morning;
something more concrete of you –
like copper or scratched silver;
or a flame and
something to set ablaze

About The Author

Lauren Suchenski (she/her) has a difficult relationship with punctuation. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and four times for The Best of the Net. Her chapbook “Full of Ears and Eyes Am I” (2017) is available from Finishing Line Press, and a full-length collection “All You Can Measure” as well as a chapbook “All Atmosphere” (Selcouth Station 2022) are forthcoming. You can find more of her writing on Instagram @lauren_suchenski or on Twitter @laurensuchenski.