by Chase Berggrun
Chase Berggrun is a trans poet. She is the author of R E D (Birds, LLC, 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, APR, Diagram, Sixth Finch, the PEN Poetry Series, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from New York University. She lives in New York City and edits poetry for Big Lucks.
I have come to understand a particular freedom
without restraining mood
aglow as if loosened
God you are going to be so good to me
I know a poison you do not
beginning and ending with my hand
the blackest prelude
Note the quaint seriousness of my voice low and strained
The flesh the rough flinch
My fast-bending hand
which subdued the whiteness of his hair
I shrink into all wives and their hands
their hands that loved me best I have not forgotten
that set me free from the thrall my husband held over me
What I have arranged to do will be no murder
Even if it were
I know now what men feel
that special excitement when in active danger
This necessary task euthanasia a comfort
I am in a fever of hands
I found him whetting
the edge of his throat driven by cold
His hands instinctively sought
my smooth arrangement
He is sure I will come at his call
but I have not lost the grace a woman has
a power he may not take away
I with perfect nervous poise
let loose wings a thought-strong swan
When the time comes I alone slaughter
I alone ultimately triumph
The tight country he had tried to invade
he kissed it sick and keen
There is more to tell and I shall tell you
Forgive me if I seem remorseless
selfishness frees my soul somewhat
Not even God is with me now
This morning the increasing swirl in his eyes
lying half asleep as he
distributed his guarantee the routine hurt
this mixture of arousal and business
After a fog I felt a wind carry through me
right or wrong didn’t matter
I was rid of that type of punctuation
released from my promise to be grateful
to the man who invented this suffering
I have my conclusion
(a) He must be confined.
(b) A process of exclusions.
1. Endless difficulties in leaving.
(x) Investigate, hint, surmise: what might destroy him?
(z) His highest fear, his victim.
2. It would have to be fatal.
3. The safest way: engulf him in water.
Firstly. A general plan of action.
Secondly. Ascertain his means of escape, and his suspicions.
His canniness has been proved before.
My husband’s murder required isolation
in secret I blotted out his traces
I have examined ascended
I read the creaking sound
of his shaking hands now
at his most helpless he is powerless
I took other precautions I hunt well armed
It may be necessary to undo time and re-incarnate
To destroy I hesitate to write the word destroy him
My legs are quick and lethal
I can fight I can die
as well as men can
Fear shall find him near that fateful place
sad and tainted with illness almost alive
in embryo in a collapse of misery
I would take him into that place
There is work to be done before
I can escape those gloating lips
Forgive me it is a dire need
I am giving possibly my life
I cannot sleep
how can I
it would be easier to die than to live
and quit before I start
dismiss the whole adventure
as the cold seems to rise up and strike
it all comes home