by Erica Mann Jong


Relaxing Cubist

Relaxing Cubist

Cement up to the neck

& my head packed

with unsaid words.

A gullet full of pebbles,

a mouth of cast concrete–

I am stuck

in a lovelessness so thick,

it seems my natural element.

My mouth closes

on stones.




Hand frozen to my chin,

my back a question mark,

my heart soldered

to its arteries,

my feet planted

in grass that cannot grow,

The Thinker ponders

ten more years of this:

a woman

living the life

of a statue.


Break free!

Melt the metal



in love’s cauldron,

open doors, eyes, heart,

those frozen ventricles,

those stuck tongues,

those stuttering dependencies.


When the statue walks,

will the world dissolve?

When she shakes her shoulder,

will the sky shrug

& skitter off in space?


Or will the clouds cluster

to cover her,

& the blue wind gather

at her shoulders

& the men streak by

like jet trails in the air,

utterly ephemeral?