by Kim Addonizio
[from Tell Me (BOA Editions, 2000)]
Sometimes, when we’re lying after love,
I look at you and see your body’s future
of lying beneath the earth; putting the heel
of my hand against your rib I feel how faint
and far away the heartbeat is. I rest
my cheek against your left nipple and listen
to the surge of blood, seeing your life splashed out,
filmy water hurled from a pot
onto dry grass. And I want to be pressed
deep into the bed and covered over,
the way a seed is pressed into a hole,
the dirt tamped down with a trowel.
I want to be a failed seed, the kind
that doesn’t grow, that doesn’t know it’s meant to.
I want to lie here without moving, lifeless
as an animal that’s been slaughtered, its blood smeared
on a doorpost, I want death to take me if it
has to, to spare you, I want it to pass over.
(c) 2000 by Kim Addonizio, all rights reserved
Included in the Crisis Chronicles Library with the poet’s permission
We gratefully acknowledge BOA Editions, Ltd,
publishers of Kim Addonizio’s
where this poem originally appeared
Here’s a biography borrowed from her official website, www.kimaddonizio.com:
Kim Addonizio is the author of five poetry collections including Tell Me, A National Book Award Finalist. Her fifth collection, Lucifer at the Starlite, was published by W.W. Norton in 2009.
Addonizio has also authored two instructional books on writing poetry: The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux), and Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, both from W.W. Norton.
Her first novel, Little Beauties, was published by Simon & Schuster in August 2005 and came out in paperback in July 06. Little Beauties was chosen as “Best Book of the Month” by Book of the Month Club. My Dreams Out in the Street, her second novel, was released by Simon & Schuster in 2007.
She also has a word/music CD with poet Susan Browne, “Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing,” available from cdbaby; a book of stories, In the Box Called Pleasure (FC2); and the anthology Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, coedited with Cheryl Dumesnil.
Addonizio’s awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship,a Pushcart Prize, a Commonwealth Club Poetry Medal, and the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award.Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared widely in anthologies, literary journals, and textbooks, including Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, Bad Girls, Chick-Lit, Dick for a Day, Gettysburg Review, Paris Review, Penthouse, Poetry, and Threepenny Review. She teaches private workshops in Oakland, CA, and online.
Please check out these fine volumes of Kim Addonizio’s poetry and prose: