More Like Me

by Jessica Walsh

Picture the sea cucumber breaking
   into twins  At first 
it must have been brilliant
	the self half gone   halfway done
	like the lightness of a new city
	  where no one hates me yet
  but then the screech the crash as pieces grow
Not gone but double

No one wants that

You cannot want Jekyll to choke himself into 
another dry Jekyll   What a failure that glass proved
Puddled London that night is the same
		sexless stench    a stretch
	of doors shut tight 
    Not even the boredom is new

Imagine the sorcerer’s apprentice had shut the door 
    squeezed dry his hem and gone for coffee
The whole time the brooms doomed to replicate
Their only jobs to clean and carry  They make themselves
  crowding out against the unending tide

One it turns out was too many to handle

In Michigan 
    where this mess began
German POWs swam off one night
   but the other shore was still Michigan   that lake
just another pissant manmade lake  not a great one
Think of them 
thinking  Michigan again  
This state keeps happening  

  The worst must have been knowing
  they were still and always themselves
I know the feeling
I swim all night
    There is the proof you need  I find sympathy for the enemy  Do you see
 what happens if you follow me  

Once   the Germans
the other ones over in Germany    same time more or less
 ordered camouflage but got tulle
     The prisoners at the factory	who dreamt
of weddings or births	  probably died for the good
	I imagine that happens to the good
The soldiers    static and blinkered    took it anyway
Orders   you know
The end was coming and by summer
the empty tanks    abandoned     wrapped in tulle   
slouched like rusty jilted brides past the horizon
the landscape a veiled horror
All those guns identical  
  hating themselves   waiting for a triggerman

See I am awful already 
    even here in soft stiff white

There could be more like me
if we aren’t careful

Categories: Poetry