Clare L. Martin

Two Poems

The Disease is at Home in Her

That day, my fifth birthday, her fist unlocked at breakfast. Swiping paw’s jaw, she set it clacking, sent Cheerios flying— She birthed us in anger. Now she is barnacled, run aground. She’s forgotten her brawl with us. The nurse is in control. I place her hand on my belly to feel the baby kick. She exhales, watches visions on the wall. She calls "father" in her dreaming. She opens her mouth and we fill it.

The Embalmer's Wife

You’ve never revealed your dreams but I guess the dreamscape: faces like cold candles, water-stone eyes, sewn mouths—viscera. She was a weaver who imparted wisdom to her daughters. She was devout. Cherish my breast and the music of our breathing. Heartbeat-cadences lilt in the hours we share. I cling to you gratefully. How you touch me with need, surrendering to life.

Clare L. Martin’s debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, will be published fall 2012 by Press 53. She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and lifelong Louisiana resident. Clare’s poetry has appeared previously in Melusine, and in many other literary journals. Clare is a Teaching Artist with the Acadiana Center for the Arts.