Description of a New World | Mari Pack

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Mari Pack is a poet and editor from the outskirts of Washington, D.C. She earned an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 2013, and later worked as an English teacher in Israel and copywriter in Brooklyn. Now an editor for Guideposts, her essays, articles, and poems have been published in Quail Bell Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Establishment, among others. She is a current MFA candidate in Poetry at Hunter College, CUNY.

“I wish there was a place in this city
where I could go to scream,” I say, shameless. Stupid. Shot.
It’s snowbird season at the end of a merciless year
when skyscrapers fell in baker’s dozens;
mushroom headed supergiants decomposing
into fairy rings beneath the tel-side. Don't tell my mother
but I’ve stopped bending forward over my own feet to pray
for fear of falling upwards. Sing me something sweet this time?
Atonement’s never easy. Sleeping and shedding,
it’s the holding on that gets you.

I'm sorry for all the layers of myself that I left upon the rug last June
when I lost enough weight to fill a jar with coins
to pay a ferryman four times over.
We crossed the river chanting, “shame is our contagion”
because in New York, you whisper
a man can do anything your pride lets you.