Moon's Cabin | Catie Hannigan
CATIE HANNIGAN is a queer poet and visual artist from Maine. She is the author of MOON’S CABIN (dancing girl press, 2019), Winter Fragments (Tammy Journal, 2017) and What Once Was There Is the Most Beautiful Thing (Diagram, 2015). She has received fellowships from the c3:initiative, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Stonecoast Writer’s Conference. She is the director of Meadow, a creative space for marginalized artists & writers. She teaches poetry at the Independent Publishing and Resource Center in Portland, OR. More of her work can be found at catiehannigan.com
I began as a naked woman reading poetry written by men.
The dark expectation that echoed. My body was
compared to the birth of Venus, you know, small
with subtle thickness, lazy under a tree, maybe,
a pear in my hand. Women were no better—
she told me, once, I tasted like milk. Between red
velvet pillows and an open window, someone is making love
to someone and it isn’t me. I’m pissed
that I said it first but Simic got it in print:
I touch myself in a way that no one understands
but others have touched me and I can never understand.
Ghosts gather in song, stars place a request to simply be referred to—
no more, no less— and in an instant, people become animals and gain souls.
I can’t tell you anything that has not already been said
but have you heard it in my voice?
What do you think that would do to meaning?
There is a manual for living and it suggests to insert
the phrase the greeks into the metaphor. This seals the poem
as a bell but the goal is to sacrifice to the gods.
My manual suggests crying. Tears can not be understood
as anything other than a miracle. The poem is merely
a domino effect from the child of me. I ride a horse through
the night, tearing a bag of tsunamis upon the neighborhood.
Like any myth, I want you to retell me. With your own twist
and intention. How the moon is observed throughout centuries.
Do not ask for fact checking, just believe in my gut a little longer.
Here is a map of time, I drew it with my left hand.