We may call it a border: the entrance into evil. Love, half-open, that a body gets through sideways.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, the trick is to get on the ground and fold yourself into a small, soft shape. A grim little sliver that fits the ignition, enters–and is lost in Balms.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf. I am a little world made cunningly.
Sources: 1. Julia Kristeva 2. Susan Howe 3. Ovid 4. The Bible 5-6. Camille Rankine 7. Danielle Pafunda 8. Emily Dickinson 9. Sylvia Plath 10. John Donne
Mouth Cento: The Heart
It is confusing and embarrassing to have two mouths. All your life is written for you.
I let myself be invented, sweet to tongue and sound to eye; The heart its own rough animal.
Silence can be a plan that swallows up and gives birth at the same time. An alert breath like purring stirs below, it must be endless: round and round that God spot.
I’m a martyr, a girl who’s been dead concentrating on moving in perfect circles.
Every part of me is hungry. Knuckled. I wanted to be a heart.
Sources: 1. Anne Carson 2. Sleater-Kinney 3. Wislawa Szymborska 4. Christina Rossetti 5.Tracy K. Smith 6. Adrienne Rich 7. Mikhail Bakhtin 8. May Swenson 9. Rita Dove 10. Anne Sexton 11. Toi Derricotte 12-13. Margaret Atwood 14. Aziza Barnes 15. Federico Garcia Lorca
Mouth Cento: The Wound
Alone, watching the moon rise: I cannot say what loves have come and gone, with a thousand open legs with the greed of a meadow.
I have wanted some epic use for my excellent body, to suit my character, full of holes. Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds as moon fires set in my throat.
Sources: 1. Louise Gluck 2. Edna St. Vincent Millay 3. Lara Glenum 4. Charles Baudelaire 5. Sharon Olds 6. Carmen Gimenez-Smith 7. Sylvia Plath 8. Audre Lorde
-- Rochelle Hurt is the author of two collections of poetry: In Which I Play the Runaway (2016), which won the Barrow Street Book Prize, and The Rusted City (White Pine, 2014). Her work has been included in the Best New Poets anthology series and she’s been awarded