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.
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.