Pendulum by Kara Candito

          After Robin Schiff
I collided with a verb that burst
          into gild like a can of gold
spray paint. First in fear
                   and then in recourse, I collided
with ahorcarse whose stem is
         an instrumental noun.
Horca: gallow

In my twenties, I craved an expensive
         swing so that I might be
suspended and fucked over
                   a common foam mattress. I made
a grave mistake. I let myself be fucked
          on the ground and am
ground down

now into catastrophe. I want to be
          more devout about positioning
the husband and the rope,
                    the husband and the intricate
map of hat hooks he drilled
          into the door of the coat closet
the day

he drove somewhere, I know
         not where, to hang himself
I touched the back of the door
          where he spray-painted our son’s
name and asked what
          it meant to wrestle an angel.
Giacomo, Jacobo.

There are two ways of committing
          suicide by hanging; suspension
hanging, the suspension of the body
                    at the neck; and drop hanging,
a calculated drop designed to break
         the neck. When Virgil called
the noose

the coil of unbecoming death, he meant,
          I know not why, to disparage
hanging as an effeminate method
                    of suicide. Arrendar: to use
reins to tie an animal. Rienda: rein.
          In June, the rain is a dead language.
It capitulates,

it consoles. In June, everything living thing
          is as loud and desolate as a tuba.
I made a grave mistake.
                    When my husband said help, I hid
the rope in a wheelbarrow. Who is not
          repositioned by language?
I sought

answers in the potting soil and have
          to bury myself now. A catastrophic
misconjugation of fear.
                    Two incipient people create a third
and the words that make them
          more and less coherent to themselves
are encoded
in the gild of repetition. A verb sets
          them in motion. It signifies no kind
of contract.
Kara Candito is the author of Spectator (University of Utah Press, 2014), winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, and Taste of Cherry (University of Nebraska Press, 2009), winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, APR, The Kenyon Review, jubilat, Forklift Ohio, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Kara is the winner of a Pushcart Prize and the recipient of scholarships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.