A Poem by Martha Zweig

Martha Zweig

Martha Zweig

Martha Zweig's collections include Monkey Lightning, Tupelo Press, 2010;  Vinegar Bone (1999) and What Kind (2003), both published by Wesleyan University Press, and Powers (1976) a chapbook from the Vermont Arts Council. Get Lost, her latest, has won the Rousseau Prize for Literature and is forthcoming from The National Poetry Review Press. She has received Hopwood and Whiting awards. Her poems are widely published; three were featured in POETRY.  Her MFA is from Warren Wilson College.

I Wake Up Without a Navel

Oily, skidding, I haul hand-over-
hand a cold cable into the dark.

                                      half-flashlit officer
insinuates part of a facial expression & sketches me
a scrap of map
to a next map.

Surely I squirm inside the mortal peristalsis: the great snake
has seized me!

deliver me from the gravity
certain to open straight down & on down to the underworld
eternally as busy as it is, she-fiend directing the traffic,
bulky contraband offloading, empty soul winched thud upon empty soul.

Divert me to your house,
the poultry church, where for instance a hurt hen
recuperates in the bathtub. After visiting the hen I dream

I reached underneath
my mother once, & she never
missed the rest of my life I took.