Summer 2017 - Poetry

Kirk Schlueter

 

Frankenstein’s Monster Describes Resurrection

  

His first lie was that I was beautiful.
As beautiful, he said, as the wasps
that groveled above the candles, their bellies 

blushed in black gouts of flame.
As if the stolen blue of my eyes 

couldn’t see the crude stitches that sutured
my limbs like needles in broken compasses.
As if I could ever be that graceful, 

drop and drag through the dark
to tease the fire, prove just how close 

I could come to burning.
Through the window, the sky scorched
with snow, no trace of the mountains 

Herr Doktor loved that gave him
his name. He never gave me a name. 

When I asked, he said I didn’t need one,
but he lied, and I knew it.
He watched me at the window, staring out 

at the world teething with ice,
and even in that inscrutable sheen 

I could see my body was a ruined thing.
That I was a ruined thing, frayed ribbon
sewn into a raven’s nest. He saw it, too. 

If names are meat for dogs, then what
am I? Exile from the crow-fed land 

of the dead, with questions for hands
and this body I never asked for?
I remember being buried, tongue as cold 

and coarse as a silver coin in my mouth.
At night I listen to the snow’s fierce swirl 

devour this landscape to its smoothest stone.
Some nights I trick myself
into believing it makes me vanish, too.

 


 

Kirk Schlueter received his MFA in poetry at Southern Illinois-University Carbondale. His poetry has been a finalist for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the Yemassee contest, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth LetterGulf Stream, and Green Mountains Review among others. He has been awarded a full scholarship to the NYS Summer Writers Institute, and has been part of the Hungry Young Poets Reading Series.

  © Ninth Letter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.