A Necessary Feat
Emmet Martin Penney

With a line from the journals of Edvard Munch

A photo: one man dives
into another’s chest. A chasm

in the body’s cagework
accommodates his skull—

a necessary feat of living.
Somewhere in the house

a faucet left on all night,
the water like an unfouled

rope—it’s November,
and still I can sleep only

with the windows open.
In a glass bottle, the mouse

rests her carcass against the spiny rinds
of her children. They would not

leave the frozen earth. You were the morsel smuggled
through the judas-hole, you were

every hope I had for your first name
carved into the soap I used

to scour myself nightly. Hunger
shepherds me to you.



Back Table of Contentsforward