by Lauren Bender
Fist above foothold, stay invisible;
don’t open your mouth and waste words
on statues that may or may not love
you as you are on film. As you are
always, always on film. This letter,
that flutter, and a strong snatch of
sky from the night you said oh, yes,
I will be there. Who ever doubted it?
Sometimes it starts with the simplest
genuflection before you lose control
of deferential, of the movements of
your limbs, their semaphoric spasms,
and the incline of the neck becomes
a body doubled at the waist swaying
and praying the world will embrace
a servant available for any purpose.
But then there are questions, one
at a time. How to prepare to lead? When
will the better judgment kick in? Am
I bleeding too much or are the others
too intact? The guide to appropriate
behavior, you realize, is small once
you cut out the sections that repeat
what has already been said elsewhere.
The business review retains one word:
win. Which in your notes you translate
as survive, then change it to persevere
as part of your duty to accommodate two
languages at once. Are you any closer to
your goal? In terms of physical distance,
yes, but we never stop relocating across
such measurable space. You can shed your
back porch in a second. You refuse to share
your two truths but they can have any lie
they want. 1) I am comfortable in this role.
Lauren Bender lives in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in IDK Magazine, The Collapsar, Gyroscope Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Yes Poetry, and others. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.