Skip to Content

Hera, Say Hello


Some say marriage is a twinning. 

A surgery of adding attachments. 

When I undress, the dirt throbs

for me. The mushrooms betray

chastity and parade their vile shape. 

Why, among this applause, 

have I become so small in this life,

why has love taken away my face? 

Some women pray for a husband 

who will take the sky in his fist 

and break it. We do not sign away 

our power to men who sog

like paper boats. Whoever we marry: 

we vanish like a trick. What sickness,
to call a woman wife just once, then

call her chalkboard until she is a puff 

of white dust, a vague outline 

against a black sky. I have so little

of my own. I could hold this new 

worth in one hand. When my husband 

fucks and plunders through seasons 

and countries like a migration

of hurt, I am left in a field of women

giving birth to mirrors of their own

vanishing lives. This is the painting

I have become. My life is not to be

worshipped. I would trade it to the god 

of bolt guns or knives. They say 

there is beauty in the dark eyes 

of a cow. I am out among the neglected

bodies looking for beauty in this slaughter.


Press here to play the MP3.

Author Image

Meghan Privitello is the author of A New Language for Falling Out of Love (YesYes Books, 2015) and the forthcoming chapbook Notes on the End of the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). Poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, A Public Space, Best New Poets, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a New Jersey State Council of the Arts fellowship in poetry.

Feature image Sainte Sebastienne, 1992, by Louise Bourgeois. Drypoint, 38 4/5 × 30 9/10 in. © 2016 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Readers like you make Guernica possible. Please show your support.

Tagged with: