Natalie Eilbert

Body Mind

In this life I'd like to discuss my mobility in Midwestern states
and the wolf throat of time and change, the buckling field
where I bury my feelings in the dirt. But I am not the Midwestern
poets. My nature is not the Midwestern poets. But a mother is
snapping shots of her wailing daughter on the train and for once
I'd like to tolerate this
without reaching for earbuds. The only part I enjoy about myself
is my ability to contain quiet. I am the space of a bad held breath.
Rain does not whip my window in a way it reminds me of failure.
The mirror confirms the new girth of my hips is real is real failure.
When clothes heap in a mound they become laundry. All objects
become a task when heaped and I sleep inside all of them. No longer is
my job in skipping meals a good enough secret. A mound of food,
a meal. I longed for a journey I might long in but I can't leave
this couch I can't. If wind can be the weapon that whips my bad fortune
my memory is too many men. I stash it in my cheeks. Little girl screams
but this is good. As a girl I would weep over my skin color, its non-ness.
White is no color. In terms of a prism, white is all colors.
I was told this once but I couldn't be All. I think of the woman
at the bar last night who gave the skin over my bones a name,
periosteum, and she stroked the silk of my wrist bone like braille
and she said all membranes have a mind. I described CAConrad's
somatic rituals, that location has a mind we must obliterate. I could
tell from her brow this was my violence and she didn't want it.
The letters November. The cellulars November. The word Pennsylvania.
I am not there. I feel inside everything. The city hemmed into dirt
to blare nothing but too many men. Why I overshare my past so often
is I want to blare nothing but can't. I walked to another angle of my life
that night, my body now too many minds, a femur mind, a pinky mind,
a teeth mind, a blood mind. Stared at a fresh scar's wrinkles
and I don't know if this too had a mind. Little girl screams
into her laugh like an oil spill in the reeds and I'm sorry
anyone has to do this. The train heads to my hometown
where I will find my grandma open-mouthed, a gap.
Where is the language to wish death for her, where is that.
Her body of too many minds that tried their best to love
an entire life of failure. I fail at the edge of my body. A bruised boy
from the 50s still waits in her film for development. Mind
of the still of the bruise. Someone is looking at the mountains
inside America and there is peace for their dying. My sex offender
got married today in a tux with all his loved ones standing by. Little girl
screams but this is good. We go out into the world only when we wish to come back.


Natalie Eilbert's first book of poems, Swan Feast, is forthcoming from Coconut Books in April 2015. She is the author of two chapbooks, Conversation with the Stone Wife (Bloof Books, '14) and And I Shall Again Be Virtuous. (Big Lucks Books, '14). She is the founding editor of The Atlas Review.