you are in the diode archives fall 2009




There was first the fact of ten welts.
There was second the coming on of the cramps.
There was third the fact that in this room it is too cold
for facts to emit their clear liquid that raises delicate scabs.
The facts are these: six feet of rope can bind a life.
I am not necessarily married to the facts
of these six feet of rope.
I am not utterly alarmed by no answers
to the question of exactly how many feet of rope
it takes. To make a lark’s head takes twice
as much rope to make the same distance.
Because they are on the back of my neck
the ten welts do not itch, they have never itched.
If I were to take a mirror it would be the same.
It would not be the welts, only a counting of them.
This cold room, where I measure and tend the ropes,
is not interesting, this continual interrogation
regarding my cold use of ropes to soothe
these ten welts of mine. The premise is this:
there are ten welts on my neck in a cold room.
I have control of the temperature. I have the ropes.
Clearly their fluid is rising. At such a frail distance.



What a pickle, I thought, and stopped there,
with that in my mouth.
What an uninteresting say to thing.
This pickle, why do I think of it as a problem,
when its mustard seeds float
in a tart sugared liquid?
Perhaps the problem is color, how
its inhabitation of the cucumber flowers
seems so much like the sun and the innards
of the squash beetle at the same time.
What about his impetus to compose
a pickle up there, that author?
It seems narcissistic, at the very least.
Now there are two figures.
Who was, and who was suspected.
The doctor asked one too many questions
and thus himself became suspect.
Latex gloves among the towels,
manipulation to affirm operation,
soyed pork on the grill.



A dog ate a turtle from a tub of turtles, cracking its shell in many places but swallowing it whole. The little girl who cared for them noticed. The doctor put the dog under with a shot and opened its stomach and removed the turtle, which lived, as did the dog, which would have died. She’d insisted. She was right. Cut it open, she’d said!


Edible Flowers

Gold-winged things shoot from the grass to the line of crepe myrtles too fast for me and the catbirds sing all night their echoes through the pillow wrapped around my head, peck at the dog at dawn, swoop and dive from cables that connect like punctuation or silk knots smeared across membranes, whatever that means. The magnolias drop their brown cups. A sprinkling of water drowns the dust. And there’s that slate car again, erasing its roundnesses. These details are especially Sunday. African, you might say, if you thought about our bones. New England, you might say, if there was one. Now it’s time for History 232: one face turning into another on the screen. One nasturtium turning summerly into itself, as if ashamed of a love so private it could brook no abrasion of exposure. 


Theodore Worozbyt’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, New England Review, Po&sie, Sentence, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and Quarterly West. He has published two books of poetry, The Dauber Wings (Dream Horse Press, 2006) and Letters of Transit, which won the 2007 Juniper Prize (The University of Massachusetts Press, 2008). He is Assistant Professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College.