Dara Cerv

Bath Exercise

You can cut a person out of
The scenery with the right scissors
You can paste over it another
Person or slip into it
A compact mirror
In place of the person
The mouth ajar or the eye
Blinks absence
The compact mirror fogs recurrently
When clutched in the bathtub
Consider your image the struggle
To clear it with thumbs
An endless video game
The compact mirror as a submarine
In search of your genitals
The root of a human being
Find your underwater genitals
With this wavering eye
The door to
A great chamber in which
Dozens of people hold compact
Mirrors in front of their mouths
Pant and fog the glass
You can cut a person out of
The scenery you can cut
A million people out of the scenery
Paste over them or into them wisdom
That someone out in the big world
Will crush your face against
A mirror without question



Bath Poem

There is something behind
Every veneer inevitably
Deteriorating the system
Pipes rust
Bones Swiss cheese
Drains fill with hair
And skin and skin
And hair eat away
The riverbanks and shores
All of our hair and skin
Human algae
Clogs the fishes' guts
Stops up the blowholes
Coats the coral
I sit in the tub while
The world corrodes
What is the weight of another
Human being
What will I coat with
Bits of my flesh
What will wear my face
And walk in the world
And say my name
When I am a sliver of light
By a wave
Pushed under the sand


Dara Cerv lives and writes in Jamaica Plain, MA. Work is forthcoming or has appeared in apt, The Volta, Whiskey Island, and Sink Review. Sixth Finch will publish her first chapbook in the spring of 2015.