A finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, Permanent Volta by Rosie Stockton is published by Nightboat Books. The editor is Stephen Motika. The winner of this prize will be announced on May 11. Here is a poem from this collection:
Waking from your high pitched yawn, blinds cut up sun on your unfurled face
and I feel. There is no looking at sleeping, there is no tracing your elsewhere,
your hush and ivy fragments along my legs.
There is no breaking what isn’t united, you told me, you told me once. Your
ditch, your vinyl cove, your timbers. There is no writing that is not looking.
There is an alarm wish economy, and I wish we could buy each other’s hours
and wrap them up, drench each other in them. You are hard to say because
where our bodies dip into each other—it’s tonal, pure sound, yesterday and
yesterday. Needing you sunlike, like some solar fury, some orbital pull, you
determine this or that hour.
You are in bed, above me. I eat my cereal, I eat it and eat. My salaried organs,
my tenured love. I have things to say to your elsewhere, like my body is full of
blood, it moves at different speeds, and I unfold my morning in what looks like
narrative but isn’t.
Dismissing the tombless allegory, to ask you to stand for woman, for body,
for citizen. The form of disruption, in this case disrupts itself. The process of
knowing you, which is knowing me, betrays me.
“Heretic” from Permanent Volta © 2021, by Rosie Stockton. Reprinted with permission of Nightboat Books. All rights reserved.