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Am I Feeling Quiet or Restless

Rebecca Doverspike

The rib of Adam in me grows feverishly

(what is implicit is easily forgotten;

we all come from a womb and so harbor both

bodies, deep mythologies)

like all other bones, you can look back

across a long drawbridge, a stretched out memory, a ribboned road

concrete and steadfast enough

to hold falling leaves—through that distance something nameless comes


What if pain came before the apple

and dear Eve placed herself beside every woman

down the line out of compassion? What if her knowledge

preceded the fruit? What we are homesick for

cannot be found in this world. Twilight and dusk blue touch

upon it. Daily I ask of myself the difficult task

not to erase longing. To accept the undoing

inside/out inside/out inside/out (the best advice: keep

whatever can stay unwritten unwritten) the tongue dreams

of wild prairies, tall grasses, but most days it shapes predictable beads

outside/inside are both ghosts of trees, please hold this ghost carefully;

the body sings its own way.

If you crack the ribs open there are stars

what would the world be like if you believed that without doing it? Magic

just beneath the surface.

Time makes the body break as waves

in the whole of the ocean; the seconds are whole

the fishes’ bright mouths on bright hooks

and every day the endless sadness but if it cannot art

iculate lit like street lamps illuminating branches as webs in the quiet orange

the silk of it

it can take a while for evening to settle—

mud soaked through with rain looking toward the end of a long candle’s taper

delicious movement in the word unfolding—

a flame to keep the bluest blue star flickering under our chests from being only cold

like how each night the sun is swallowed

as darkness holds a concentrated disc of light

and every morning, the sun slips silent from the throat in a burst of choice, as if it were my choice

to keep the sky there all day long; to speak at all.

Rebecca Doverspike's chapbook, Every Present Thing is a Ghost, is forthcoming from Slapering Hol Press in March 2019. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruminate, Leveler, Souvenir Lit Journal, 5x5 Literary Magazine, Valley Voices, and STATOREC among others.


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