You who are unscorched

and elated        

I remember to wake up to

not in loneliness exactly

but a thunderous feeling

a marked body, striped

marked and sweating

shaved and dressed    

a stranger on the couch

in front of you

This can hardly be an accident

I think

a pouring over

and if I made a mistake

then I do apologize

but I fall asleep hungry

to the hum of the water heater

and I know

that the cat knows

what itís like to want to sleep

next to a warm thing

But please donít call me

I am watching the blue light

on the tv screen

I am watching

pigs wade across the river

with their silky eyes          

and I am unsure

of where to put my feet

my lean muscle extending

as I undress

in front of the space heater         

I cannot be desired

It was you

who turned me into a body

a small gender pressed

I am a remembering creature

have no place to place

the stink of forgotten

but at least now I know

something to look for        

your white gull feelings

you on dial

just waiting for the action to begin       

you hint at every form

of the vessel          

youíve already decided

what to forget


Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press 2015) and two chapbooks. Recent work may be found in Gulf Coast, Guernica, jubilat, Cosmonauts Avenue, Colorado Review, and Foundry, among others. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she teaches at Grand Valley State University.