Buried by a spell of pain—
cockleburs caught on my lips,
lungs brittle glass—
I called without words
for spadefuls of air.
Unearth me, said the imperative
of my spine, curling into itself.
If speaking pain is an act
of translation, I’ll speak with my eyes—
words need breath.
Here: this polished stone, a memory
of turbulence. Moths eaten away
to tatters by the snap of the screen door.
I remember pain’s solipsism:
the choke of it, and time like quick-
sand beneath me. If the photographer’s
unspoken desire is to be seen,
I hungered for a fascination
of ravens, the fizz of their black
wings in the rain filling me up
from the ambulance window.
Sarah Giragosian PhD is the author of the poetry collections Queer Fish (winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, 2017) and The Death Spiral (Black Lawrence Press, 2020) and co-editor (with Virginia Konchan) of Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems (University of Akron Press, forthcoming). She teaches at the University at Albany-SUNY.
Sarah Giragosian, PhD
Full-Time Lecturer in Writing and Critical Inquiry and Affiliated Faculty Member in English
University at Albany, SUNY