We’ve Not Long Come In
—Harold Pinter “The Room”
Or was I in my marriage bed, stuffed with hay, or
was I in the field between the plants’ burrs and hard globes
of dust in sun, or was I on the ice floor, or was I in a river
as I pushed you from my body. Once I brought you here
I could take the hood of family, once you drank from me,
the name of mother. Here I am, your animal. You have made me
flesh. I have made you to consume what the world is flurrying
even now to make. You have bound him and me together
in a ring of muscle and bone. Your hyphen weds our names. Had I
a larger tongue, I would have cleaned you myself.
I have disappeared inside your making and the joy
unbearable in its steadfast thrum. I had the low call
of it inside me always. It quakes me, rearranges
everything. Give awe your lineaments—and I will birth it.
First appeared in Kenyon Review Online
Sasha West’s first book, Failure and I Bury the Body (Harper Perennial, 2013), won the National Poetry Series and a Texas Institute of Letters First Book of Poetry award. Her awards include a fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Houston Arts Alliance grant, and Inprint’s Paul Verlaine Prize in Poetry. She is on faculty at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.