Listen:

It has always been like this: I slept
in a pack on your belly, wanting 

to knit myself into your lobe and herd.
I needed to get down into you. 

Born I drained our mother’s very teeth.
For months my dewy infant head 

refused to grow, refused the silver rope
of cleaving cells, unending surface area 

of other and other. But you: you are
the surefoot, knotted to your own 

tender oil of trees. I have not
given any teeth, sister, only wander. 

My stomach never calmed;
it marked me with its milk and chew.

Already the arrow blasts against
my forehead: I should be going on

fruitless as I could be unwritten,
written out. Each day my mouth opens 

on that disunion, a brilliant cleft of air.
You must know something 

of the same rupture, so where is
your face when I turn to it? 

At this point I’ve lost the story,
am looking for a sister ship

half-buried in someone else’s snow.
Still I take on the edges of your lake 

as my child oath, shake all that I know
into outlines you recognize. 

I lean my open neck against yours.
The miracle always returns with a hunger.

Photo by Sebastian Bartoschek via Flickr. Licensed under CC.

Gale Marie Thompson

Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Helen or My Hunger (YesYes Books, 2020), Soldier On (Tupelo Press) and two chapbooks. She has received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her work appears in American Poetry Review, Tin House Online, jubilat, Gulf Coast, BOAAT, and Crazyhorse, among others. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine, and co-hosts the arts advice podcast Now That We’re Friends. Gale lives in the mountains of North Georgia, where she directs the Creative Writing program at Young Harris College. You can find her on Twitter at @thegalester.