AUTHOR’S NOTE: These are found poems for which I used the January 2020 issue of O Magazine as my source material. For each poem, I would start with a word or short phrase, then move forward until I found a new word or phrase that joined it in an interesting way, and keep going until I had a good title. Then I would do the same with the poem, stitching on a new word or phrase at a time until the poem seemed complete. The movement was always forward rather than either backward or scrambled, and my aim was for each poem to be something more than just an assemblage of its parts.
Cultivate Your Breath
You might be open to the pressure of your skin.
Naturally, the vacillation captured your attention—
it starts to get gnarly, overwhelming, the fatigue.
Dying, some people use amphetamines, but I have to
take ten years, scream curse words. Stress could be
repeating high school, a struggle. I’d scream a thing
for people with depression
I never thought I wanted a car crash happening to my loved ones!
I often see people, a reason for people to struggle,
a little feeling in my limbs. Fire ants between my teeth,
two peacocks holding an amazing cup of coffee, my brain.
My Plan: I’m Growing and Loving
New. My something new. The new life.
My farm. My boys. My own two feet.
My home, the beautiful countryside,
my head. The godmother of a new year,
my personal cosmic fireworks, my daughter.
My boyfriend. No kiss. My husband, a year later,
a polar bear in the diner. My birth, the bold
new activity. I hope my hotel room lights up.
Nothing means everything to me: the leaf,
the whale, the dog. Tater Tots, goldenrod,
your great uncle’s WWII postcards. The
Monuments of Men. A simple toy.
Is Your Hairdo from My Farm?
Are you ready for my page-turning mystery?
You’re fantasizing about it, exploring my head.
I looked at all the fireworks at midnight in the ocean,
your bold outfit. It’s good for me to stay a little bit
brave, in awe. In December 1946, I’m singing along
to the turbulence, cross-country, a doubt lights up
my skin. God, save middle-school girls, girls who eat
sweet and savory, believing that it’s about time.
Marilyn Cavicchia lives in Chicago and is an editor at the American Bar Association as well as a freelance grant writer. Her first (and thus far, only) chapbook, Secret Rivers, received the Helen Kay Chapbook Prize and was published by Evening Street Press. Publications in which her individual poems have appeared include: Naugatuck River Review, Cider Press Review, and Hawai’i Review. Marilyn blogs sporadically at www.marilyn cavicchia.com.