2 poems

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.

CHAPTER XXV

 

Note this

       

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

CHAPTER XXVI

 

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

 

*

 

Memorandum

 

   (a) He must be confined.

   (b) A process of exclusions.

   1. Endless difficulties in leaving.

   (x) Investigate, hint, surmise: what might destroy him?

   (y) Maybe.

   (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

 

Here

as the cold seems to rise up and strike

it all comes home