Peter Leight

Needlework

Embroidery is a form of needlework,

leaning over the needle pretty much the way you hold a kitten against your body with your shoulders rounded

and kitty disguised as needlework

on top of the foundation fabric,

overlaid, like a gift you give yourself when you don’t have anything else to give.

Pulling out where you push in —

personally I think it’s often better to say yes to yourself

in order to avoid disappointing yourself.

Sewing on the cross stitches and stars like asterisks reminding you there’s another point that needs to be considered,

somebody pointed this out,

I think she has a point,

believe me,

there’s a stitch in every glitch,

I don’t know what your problem is.

It’s not the kind of accident where help is on the way —

sometimes you disguise yourself as kitty

with a wet nose and sweet sweet face,

a smile applied to kitty’s face using a technique of application and removal, as when you cut along the edge

and lift out the whole pane.

I have a blue box of Q-tips and some Kleenex in case there’s an orifice that needs to be swabbed,

I’m checking in with myself,

how do you feel,

fine,

what does it feel like now,

it’s a species of the larger problem how to make it happen

sometimes I think it is one of those elements that takes forever to heat up but when it’s really hot starts to burn,

giving off a lot of heat,

I didn’t even notice this until somebody pointed it out to me,

I think she has a point.

I’m not saying I’m asymptomatic,

not at the moment,

staying on top of the fabric

as promised,

it’s starting to move the needle,

I think I’m turning the corner, as when you face forward in order to see yourself in front of you disguised as kitty,

it’s hard to remove a disguise

you’re not even wearing.

Wall

It is a great wall, extending from one end to the other and in all the places in between—it could be anywhere. We’re not thinking it’s somewhere else. Not wrapped up or blending in, uncovered or unshaded like a book that is open to every page—compared to this everything is a secret. A wall without corners, without meeting other walls, not joining others—you can’t move in or enter into the wall, or use the wall to create an interior. Left to right and right to left, the same both ways. A great wall, without a single gap—all the same the wall is worrying: is it enough? Is it really helping? Or is it an episode that ends when everybody knows what’s going to happen? A loyal wall, keeping the others out, putting some on this side and some on that side, some in and others out—sometimes I think it is better to be defenseless, the danger is you fill yourself up with the resistance you develop. We often stand near the wall thinking about what it is like on the other side, separated from us, unable to touch the other side of the wall. Not budging, not even a small amount, there’s no need to change—all the same the wall is worrying, is this the only way? Will it always be like this? Or is this an episode that ends when everybody stops watching?

Peter Leight lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has previously published poems in Paris Review, AGNI, Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, FIELD, and other magazines.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of nine books and chapbooks, including Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her tenth book, Zoom, was awarded the Washington Prize and will be published in 2018. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.