Winter 2017 - Poetry

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Catie Marie Martin 

 

 

The Engagement Ring, from the Junk Drawer

The dovetail joints are not strong enough to seal me from the scent
of coffee in the morning, or the roar of the vacuum in the afternoon.
I, an inmate among oddities; I, the handcuff of commitment.

O, pair of scissors! O, spool of thread! You, my hardwood companions;
you, my matchbox playmates. Do you pine for a needle like I long
to play ring-around-the-Rosie with her hands, my home?

O, swollen knuckle! O, untrimmed fingernails! Has the paleness I left
dulled into her skin? Did she remove the birthmark from her pinky,
my brown finger-dweller, my blemish to cradle?

I miss: gardening, lavender-scented conditioner, the aluminum cool
of my perch on the sink while she washes dishes. Kneading dough,
the sweet massage of yeast and flour and sugar against my ridges.

The warm, black leather steering wheel caressing me in summer;
wool gloves catching my crest in winter. The gentle graze of guitar
strings as she strikes a C chord, the scrape of a song against my band.

I feed on dust, on the daylight that catches my diamond when she
is in need of a tape measure. I rattle, I slide, I feel the whiplash of her frantic
search for a hair clip. I wrap myself around a crayon to fill the empty space.

 

 

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Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Catie Marie Martin is currently a student at Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA in English from Mississippi State University, where she worked as the poetry editor for the school’s literary magazine, The Streetcar, as well as the managing editor for the student newspaper, The Reflector. Catie Marie currently works in a free clinic in Brooklyn where she advocates for the rights of adults with intellectual disabilities, and she also contributes to and edits the Brooklyn Law Review. When Catie Marie isn’t in class or in court, she enjoys reading, rapping Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton in its entirety, and teaching her golden retriever the Mississippi State fight song.

 

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