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“The actor is an athlete of the heart.”

Antonin Artaud


by Catherine Bresner

What an ordinary wound this is
that I poke-poke with grubby
fingers tending to the past.

I stand near the bathroom mirror
a naked wet shadow
against the shower curtain scrim
of a forest that I stand in.

To believe in a thing is to nurse
a small baby in the brain until that
baby grows up to resent you for living
the way that you do. Still, what a comfort

to believe in Jesus, for instance, caspering
around our houses, nudging our tender elbows
off the table. We can be such delicious liars.

I prayed like hell in the hospital
& it wasn’t your fault that the party
was fucking awesome.
& It’s not my fault
you couldn’t handle your shit.
Everyone was there
& then they weren’t.
We lived by accident,
& then only sometimes.


Catherine Bresner is the author of the chapbook The Merriam Webster Series. She was the editorial assistant of Pilot Books, an intern for The Massachusetts Review, and a volunteer at Flying Object. Her poetry has been published in The Pinch, H_NGM_N, Burntdistrict , Yemesseee and has poetry forthcoming in cream city review, BOAAT, and Handsome, a journal of Black Ocean. She is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at The University of Washington, Seattle, where she is the associate editor for The Seattle Review and an intern at Wave Books.

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