January 12-19, 2004: Rachel McKibbens and Sabrina Hart


week of January 12-19, 2004

Rachel McKibbens and Sabrina Hart

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Rachel McKibbens

The Pacifier

it soothed
and mocked my shape

as a fever rang through you
like an angry bell,
and you sucked that mother-hoax
my breasts,
too hot and suffocating,
hardened, full of
abandoned milk
I tried to pluck it
from your mouth
when your eyelids
seemed still enough,

but your arms would
startle into reaching,
your jaw clamped
young and strong
it had been years
since a breast hung above me,
heavy and desperate
for my mouth
I imagined my mama,
lying on her side that first night

teetered by so much milk
as I rolled her body
down to my ankles
and stepped into
this world
father told me how she’d tease,
rubbing her nipple across
my lip until my head
whipped toward it
she’d pull back and laugh
as I wagged my empty mouth,
rooting for her tough, sweet skin
sometimes it wasn’t a nipple at all;
she’d graze my cheek with her
knuckle or a lousy finger,
haunting my dumb and
helpless face
that’s how I learned the difference
between women and mothers
that’s when I knew
what I wanted to be.

Sabrina Hart


Sabrina Hart lives in Palmdale, California and hates it She misses Canoga Park She has never been published When she dies, she would like her epitaph to read: “Here lies Sabrina Hart She drooled in her sleep, but we loved her anyway “

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Sabrina Hart and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

November Visit

I have her memory in November
Undressing in her closet
Showing me her spine

When she is naked
She pads unceremoniously to bed
Teeth chattering or hissing — I can never tell
Complaining of the cold
Half-covering her body with her hands

I imagine us years from now
Not nearly so modest in our undressing
When she strips, it will be with her breasts to me,
And even then I will be unable to keep my eyes from falling to them

Time will work grooves into us
Instead of telling her that she is beautiful,
I will ask her how work was
She will shrug into bed and offer me her back to scratch

We will be words without sound

I have yet to decide if this is Love
Or being too comfortable with someone to know the difference

But I’ve got a memory of November
Her undressing in the closet
Unceremoniously stepping out of her panties
To sleep beside me naked

It is Love now, I think,
And I haven’t forgotten to admire her beauty out loud

Phone Call

“I made myself come twice,”
You confess to me daringly
Talking of steam and our initials
On mirrors in the bathroom
You write for me and read it
And it is only testimony to your greatness
For you are so much more the poet
Than I will ever be

We laugh over these lines of long distance
And there is a lightness in your heart
I have not felt in a long, long time
Something that tells me just maybe
We’ve got the time to do it all over again

This is a new start
Like we were a new start
Beginning again with the lessons we’ve reaped
We could brave a million things this way
–Trial and error, you know–
And it would be fine

What is all this rush for?
I have to ask myself in the shower
Stepping out to find I’ve left our initials
In the steaming glass
Where it occurs to me that I know exactly
How you came and why

That there should never be anything more important
Than you or I or our bodies
This love for one another and all those things
We lose when time pulls our priorities backwards

And I’ve got your voice on a long distance line
Telling me you came twice in a bath

We’ve been together
For longer than we think

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