Her mouth gurgles with marbles
that she plucked from her belly,
and I realize too late
that fish sprout in place of teeth
not pearl, but rubber
adrift in her gums
If I bit open her throat
steered this knife over thin flesh
made it praise me as I drew
wonders of two slopes
haunted by milk
--what would tumble from her?
It would be marbles, something
fragile and strong,
until her body
swamps the unit, glass
Savannah Rivas is an aspiring scholar in the field of cognitive science. Having received a bachelor's degree in linguistics, she enjoys studying language as both a machine and an art form. She currently divides her time between the fiery summer city of Albuquerque and the soft winter city of Santa Fe.
"This poem came about during a prolonged hospitalization for a chronic illness. I had been accustomed to working
with the medical faculty in an eastern wing of the hospital, becoming familiar with the professionals -- doctors and nurses in particular -- who worked in this half of the hospital. When I was briefly transferred to the
western wing, I felt within me a gurgling, a disruption, a nervousness. 'Easterners' is primarily about the fear and agony of a new terrain, both in a literal sense and a psychological one. I wrote the poem, pen in hand, chewing on the plastic body, sitting on my always-unmade bed. The lower body of the piece came quickly, though edits on the first stanza occurred over a number of weeks."