Carol Berg


Stefano Unterthiner

The Wife’s Mid-life Crisis In Desiring Another

Everything about you hurts my vena amoris,
vein running from my ring finger to my heart.
Your eyes map my face even as I struggle to control
the unfolding. Your silence is a black panther pacing
behind the closed bars of your mouth. The silver fish
in your hands are nibbling the coral edges of my resistance.
I have locked down the wet hem of my skirt
yet still I feel you tugging the fragile cotton threads.
Held inside my ribcage, your name shatters my breath.

The Wife’s Mid-Life Crisis During Full Hunger Moon

Yes, I believe the moon is waiting
for me, hovering there in our backyard
tickling the tips of the pine trees standing guard.
Yes, I believe it could pour me a glass of white wine,
some cheap chardonnay it picked up from New Zealand.
And yes, I would rub its white belly. I know it’s typical
that I can’t always see what I am doing. But I would still crack
the moon like an egg and I would watch its blue center run like a yolk
on my plate. I would devour it without commentary. The moon
would taste of moral dilemmas and chicken broth. And so yes,
I do believe the moon becomes that juicy and full just for me.

The Wife’s Mid-Life Crisis While Dusting The Bathroom Cabinet

Even the seabirds are lost,
clinging to my arm. I would carve
an estuary for you, if you let me. I would ride
the tortoise into the deep ravines for you, interpreting
the dream of each undulating wave. This is where I hold
our song of the ocean, here in my secret canoe where the migrating
whales curse me. You have stolen my riverbanks. You have stolen my clouds.
How can we navigate through all this dust?

 

The Wife’s Mid-Life Crisis In Her Small Kingdom

Even the geese look lonely to her
as they fly low in a gray sky,
just the two of them in a search
for the flock.

In the kingdom of her small
urges she feels the tiniest
feather struggling to breathe.

She plucks it out. Watches it float
like a dust mote into some corner
where it will become invisible even to her.

This is when she remembers
the exact moment she lost her
desire to fly. This is when she
feels death’s curved beak coming closer to her.

Carol Berg has poems in or forthcoming in Pebble Lake Review, Fifth Wednesday, qarrtsiluni, blossombones, Spillway, and elsewhere. Two chapbooks, Ophelia Unraveling (dancing girl press) and Small Portrait and the Woman Holding a Flood in Her Mouth (Binge Press), are forthcoming in 2012.

Carol Berg’s Blog

Carol Berg at IthacaLit

Carol Berg at The Pedestal

Carol Berg at The Bakery