disem(body): a tracing / Arianne Zwartjes

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Arianne Zwartjes is an EMT, wilderness educator, and poet living in Tucson, Arizona, and teaching in the English department at the University of Arizona. She is the author of (Stitched) A Surface Opens (2008) and The Surfacing of Excess (2010).

we don’t speak or speak only of butter & eggs

you carry hangers and hangers of clothes.
each one empty a body.
the dogs are distraught at your already absence.
the missing furniture, the cold. the cursive of
this narrative, the scriptedness.
the house is half-empty. your truck
keeps getting fuller. each time it drives away, fuller.
goodbye, red truck. goodbye couch.
goodbye lamp stereo table.

somewhere there must be a bottom. a seawall
of some sort, a boundedness.
the helicoptering of each thing we’ve ever said
we wanted. icicles fall off your voice.
each body empty of the other. the hands
and the way they are empty.
i can’t breathe because of the missing couch.
goodbye, couch.

nothing could be more absurd than one’s shoe thrown
across the room. than it light as foam
and landing without a noise. we have entered
the realm of the absurd. you are taking the dog.
we’ll call this a breakup poem. we’ll call this the
quiet disintegration of a longer ride.
what we once called home.
the house gets emptier and emptier.
in the end you’re not here.