by Roxy Moskowitz
Every movement of in or out, is for me, a step into the great beyond, colored white.
I fixate on the containers of things,
where edges lie,
what happens when things drip out, spread out, or fall out.
And as my body moves in and out of buildings and bedrooms and basements,
I can feel the veins in my wrist start to thrum,
my mind races,
I feel as if there’s this invisible thickness spreading from the tips of my fingers—
This white beyond, the thickness of the sublime,
I believe I step in so often because I don’t really ever see what’s right in front of me. I trip a lot.
It either exists or it doesn’t. I either exist or I don’t.
if at any moment while my body traverses what sometimes seems like a too-concrete world (in color and physics), I disappear into this unrealized place that knows no language other than the color of a breath,
when substance and container finally fuse together into the ether, I’ll never again have to choose to step in or out:
I’ll have swallowed whatever it is that calls for me, while it wrenches me away.
Every summer is the same,
only now you watch the streets wet themselves slick with rain or fog or over-heated loneliness.
Before there was the top of the Hudson,
the tappan zee bridge,
an army of trees to shield you from the directness of the sky,
There were no straight lines in your father’s town.
When you walk outside now the line forces itself upon you. You can’t look away.
I imagine that these tarred and speeding streets empty into the same delta,
When I get dropped off at the end of the road and added to the sediment, I’ll be dirty enough that, to anyone looking,
I could have just stepped out of some green meadow,
barefoot and running.
I find myself inside December again:
a waking dream of vignetted horror and apathy, quiet screams brushing magenta in the darkness.
I am not moving– I have never moved
I cannot be alone in staring at people’s hurried strides over hard and freezing streets, their determination in doing–
I see it all and I am paralyzed with winter–
I am the death of all trees in a painted landscape that is forever asleep.
I am very much imprisoned by thick black lines, occupying margins in other people’s theses.
I was born a suffering ghost into a world of incantation– Of course I cannot speak.
I will marry silence and whisper to her in my sleep.
It got cold again without telling you-
It was sticky-hot and then one morning as you stepped out to your car you also stepped into the mist.
You are always holding something unnameable-
something articulated only through wanting and it eats you up as it suspends itself unfulfilled inside of you.
You cannot eat what doesn’t exist You are left moaning
You are left suddenly as an infant again anticipating her own teeth, gnawing on everything plastic,
ravenous with desire that takes nothing for its object.
You move more now than you ever have,
you run and fight and choke and learn how to break someone’s limbs and
it isn’t enough it only frustrates you by making you more alive than you’ve ever been, and all the more hungry.
You envision yourself with incredibly black hair and crimson blood running down your neck.
There are moments when you sense yourself again, and turn inside your body and see your personhood in a bowl next to your crossed legs.
It isn’t cathartic at all, it’s as soft as the fog that creeps over your bathroom mirror while you shower, which you don’t notice until you wring your hair through your hands and step out.
It reminds you that all things are moving, all things have touched water. Water– liquid loneliness and twilight stillness–
Water beads like dew on your skin,
you are green, you are young, you are breath and you are breathing– and the water slips out from your eye as quietly as a kiss.
Every time I think about poetry I think about this blonde girl with straight hair and orange lips and her hoarse voice that tumbled out when she spoke to me about the man she loved.
Women speak to me about the men they love, women speak to me about men,
women speak to me
Roxy Moskowitz is a writer and poet born and raised in Brooklyn in an ultra-Orthodox home. She is extremely color-sensitive and spends her time obsessing over the amorphous Divine and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She studied philosophy and comparative literature at Rutgers University and is now studying film production at Brooklyn College.