A poem from Alice Miller’s new collection What Fire.
Under the waterfall,
that red room blooms, backwards voices
squeeze through speakers, the TV drips
scenes like blood—ceaselessly,
then stop. For some
years I dated a director
but got tired of being a show.
Got stuck in the nineties, plastic-wrapped
girls, black lodge drapes, they told me
the old bad news when I was taking a splinter
out of my foot, prodding my pink raw
flesh with a needle—wait,
my mother said, wait till she gets it out
(unspoken creature lurking beneath skin)—
but now I remember, they didn’t wait,
they went ahead and told me anyway.
I guess I never got it out.
That needle’s still in my hand.
The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again later this year.