Melissa Fondakowski

The Marrow Remaining (Parts I-IV)


the image maven
left-learn readies

quilted body in

a rocking chair house,
whose doorframe smirks -
this rich universe looks

for the right word to end with

spins the circlet
arthritic cursive
not for nothing -

would you know?

I never kept quiet
in chipped-cup circles
velvet evenings spent

mispronouncing names,

a swift turn
china plates,
your water glass

the door:

you trip without a map
in the same bookish spot;
I talk back

in my underwear

on this doorstep I
struggle over, under, threw
the gnarled notebook,

a beautiful girl

even when Out
in ink-rich icing.
Names words clamor

- jealousy lousy louse -

never realize
Difficult Worlds, difficult
the memory,

you on my side

like mathematics huddled
await the grate
of conclusion's short bridge;

use an amethyst

through speechless teeth,
finger-hawk eyes,
understand and answer

knock my notebook

trust a revolution
doom with persistence,
the wood board whitened

with inkflow skin

milk white fodder
my hand's attention
a hot, dusty lamp.


A razor guards borders:

for you a few
itchy weeks
and a warm winter;

there's time before

exile, before skin lines
shine in your eyes:
my vista is verdant

spring growing in.

The root twists
inches before sprouting
. You fester, razor

and shave cream in hand

Am I rich to risk?
Turning not pine, not dollar,

waiting to explode

nestled shards
tongue danger
needle edges

when I don't shave first,

dry aversions last.
Now you search
to smooth

to soften

for lips that cross
eager as rats.


Left-hand Hebrew

backwards me
over the shoulder
line-induced seduction:


starboard women

they resemble the right profile.

In this unknown
pierogi is one
Oplatek two,

to eight

each same season,
I by belly's sea,
- Catholic Jew -

or dead

lost wanderer
light-lack kin,
lines on a map;

Polish, Catholic. Fleeing:

lineage blurted
is butchered,
short-vowel erased.


The chipped-wall secret:

gripping the pen
in black joy
depression zooms

to the wrist

too cold for crickets,
you scratch
the Wedgwood warming

tough love

the frantic paper
launched by

poems I never had

courage close-up
a low pain threshold
the slow ooze

of sticky words

that stay, not
the pinprick, quick
into the cracks -

Take up a tool,

find yourself later:
it's not names;
winds blow

a rising flame

against streamlined souls
like me: love women;
break wills with pills.

Between dreams

we had what?
with money -

I imagined you

loud and splashed into
blowdart warm.
The problem is

planned impulsions

are too easy
women fade fast
the fingertips between you;

by chance,

becoming dusty,
I free the white angel,
muted muffles now.

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