Joseph’s Pit



   My chest cleaved in half

last night           and my two shoulders lie

on different sides of the bed. Lamplight

watering the river-flow of blankets. There is

a cavity              a cavernous pit drawing

down my stomach           warping my hands.

Scorpions huddled round my feet. Tell me

there is a caravan on its way           a forensic

team coming to draw me together. Picking

pieces from the four corners of

every sea           hoping the wind will blow back and

bring everything in. There is one ending and it is

extinction           god pouring water from his mouth

   god cracking boulder-mounts like I

break bark from branch           god hungry

god tired           god laying weary on the sky. Hair

falling back like hanging-rope           are we all

so tired           weariness passed from skin

to skin. On the bed my hands lay flat,

palms up           the middle of me is empty.

Watching the Blue



So the days keep going. I wake when the sun has nothing

on the sky. When it is swallowed

by a weeping black, the whole thing

creeping towards an hour where it can be seen,

as we all do.


   And the sky. I know

we used to pray to it. And, yes, I look up

when I ask God to do his damn job already. But I see birds fly

and hope they fall—

hope they forget the wind-beat of wings

and sink the way I do, in unblessed water. It’s not fair

they get to hold the sky while everyone

ignores me.


   The whole world is unblessed water. I used to crawl

into my closet as a kid, tuck myself

underneath my longest dress, tulle a wall

against my nose. These days, to sit in my closet,

I have to move all my shoes

or sit on them. I think, Why do I have all these shoes?

I dream I’m a monster with a million feet,

stepping and stepping.


   I don’t mean to want destruction. But

some days, I carry my plate to the sink

and imagine: I throw it at the wall; I let my heels cut raw

on the shards; I tend to them.

I don’t know the point to this. I always set

the plate down gently.


   I don’t hate the sky all the time.

I like watching the blue, watching

the birds (when I’m not angry), tracing

the clouds’ end-sought trawl. I just don’t like seeing things

too big to bring down.

Adina Polatsek is a writer from Houston, Texas. She is currently studying at the University of Texas at Austin and has poetry and fiction published or forthcoming with Apricity Magazine, Soundings East Magazine, Welter, Hothouse, Ligeia Magazine, The Orchards Poetry Journal, and Moot Point Magazine.