Shadowboxing by Ruth Madievsky

To let grief ride my blood like a school bus.
To say tongue but mean staircase.
To wonder how many times
the suitcase inside me can open and shut.
What it would take to shatter
a wine glass in my hand.
To want desperately to be queen of something.
Queen of crying in coatrooms, queen of waiting
for the medicine to take.
To let the rabid dog of my mind off its leash.
To wear loneliness like a brass knuckle.
What was it between us
that went out like a light?
Why do I feel like an x-ray patient all the time?
To address someone I love
like a knife thrown at a tree.
To let my brain swallow the mouthwash.
To ask the usual questions, whose fingernail, whose condom.
If I throw enough lamps, will you come.
Originally from Kishinev, Moldova, Ruth Madievsky lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her poetry chapbook, Box of Shadows, was the runner-up in the 2014 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in ZYZZYVA, Harpur Palate, RHINO, and elsewhere.