What I Mean When I Say I Want More

by Sara Moore Wagner

Sara Moore Wagner

Inside the tub, the drain, filthy,
stuck, bubbles over, an open sore.

This is where metaphor lives: a beetle
on the cloudy mirror. Close the door.

I want you to lay next to me
in this gray water, rest just a little

until we both cool off, until our skin molts,
we are only flesh and here are my bones.

In this dim light, we stagnate:
white foam, silence, doldrums.

Honey, hold me up.
I keep slipping, the thick air, the light,

the wet prison of my ribcage.
We are both naked and emptied.

In the lattice above the window, a mouth curls
up and open, smile or grimace,

the swirl of eyes, down spiral, Medusa, maybe,
Medea, a mad wanting—Give me something

to turn me away, a bit of color, rosy tinged,
an iris, a body you’ll carry home from war, as a friend.

Or, to be shrouded in a fog so thick you’ll never see
or touch me; to stay here, objectified in every way,

above where you rest, so decorative I am outside notice
or worship. Outside defile.

Chip me away, see what your mind makes then
in the space I held. An object of desire.

Last updated September 19, 2022